Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes and a leading cause of vision loss. Many of the studies addressing diabetic retinopathy have focused on the clinically well-recognized feature of microangiopathy and its underlying mechanisms to develop protective strategies directed against exacerbated angiogenesis and subsequent vision loss. Hyperglycaemia induced at the initiation of diabetes causes tissue damage by several major mechanisms, including increased traffic through the polyol pathway, increased de novo synthesis of diacylglycerol, altered intracellular redox state, and AGE formation. Abnormalities of the neural retina have been reported in experimental and human diabetes. Loss of colour sensitivity and contrast sensitivity are early signs of neural retinal dysfunction that occur after only 2 years of diabetes. Changed metabolism of major inhibitory (GABA) and excitatory (glutamate) neurotransmitters has been documented in diabetic rats and diabetic patients. The oscillatory potentials of the b-waves on electroretinograms arising from Müller-cell function become altered after only a few years in diabetic patients. Impaired glial reactivity and apoptotic cell death of retinal ganglion cells have also been observed in cases of short-term experimental diabetes and in humans with diabetes. It is therefore important to characterize the early pathological processes in the diabetic neural retina before the onset of vascular pathology.
Kowluru RA, Chan PS. Oxidative stress and diabetic retinopathy. Experimental diabetes research. 2007 Apr 5;2007.
Erekat NS, Al-Jarrah MD, Al Khatib AJ. Treadmill exercise training improves vascular endothelial growth factor expression in the cardiac muscle of type I diabetic rats. Cardiology research. 2014 Feb;5(1):23.
Tang J, Kern TS. Inflammation in diabetic retinopathy. Progress in retinal and eye research. 2011 Sep 1;30(5):343-58.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.