Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism limits experimental choroidal neovascularization and structural changes associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a major cause of visual impairment in patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), particularly when refractory to intraocular anti-VEGF injections. Here we report that treatment with the oral mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist spironolactone reduces signs of CNV in patients refractory to anti-VEGF treatment. In animal models of wet AMD, pharmacological inhibition of the MR pathway or endothelial-specific deletion of MR inhibits CNV through VEGF-independent mechanisms, in part through upregulation of the extracellular matrix protein decorin. Intravitreal injections of spironolactone-loaded microspheres and systemic delivery lead to similar reductions in CNV. Together, our work suggests MR inhibition as a novel therapeutic option for wet AMD patients unresponsive to anti-VEGF drugs.