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      Role of Inflammation in Diabetic Retinopathy

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          Abstract

          Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and remains the leading cause of blindness among the working-age population. For decades, diabetic retinopathy was considered only a microvascular complication, but the retinal microvasculature is intimately associated with and governed by neurons and glia, which are affected even prior to clinically detectable vascular lesions. While progress has been made to improve the vascular alterations, there is still no treatment to counteract the early neuro-glial perturbations in diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder, characterized by chronic hyperglycemia along with dyslipidemia, hypoinsulinemia and hypertension. Increasing evidence points to inflammation as one key player in diabetes-associated retinal perturbations, however, the exact underlying molecular mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Interlinked molecular pathways, such as oxidative stress, formation of advanced glycation end-products and increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor have received a lot of attention as they all contribute to the inflammatory response. In the current review, we focus on the involvement of inflammation in the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy with special emphasis on the functional relationships between glial cells and neurons. Finally, we summarize recent advances using novel targets to inhibit inflammation in diabetic retinopathy.

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          Most cited references 194

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          The biology of vascular endothelial growth factor.

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            A central role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy.

            Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult vision loss and blindness. Much of the retinal damage that characterizes the disease results from retinal vascular leakage and nonperfusion. Diabetic retinal vascular leakage, capillary nonperfusion, and endothelial cell damage are temporary and spatially associated with retinal leukocyte stasis in early experimental diabetes. Retinal leukostasis increases within days of developing diabetes and correlates with the increased expression of retinal intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and CD18. Mice deficient in the genes encoding for the leukocyte adhesion molecules CD18 and ICAM-1 were studied in two models of diabetic retinopathy with respect to the long-term development of retinal vascular lesions. CD18-/- and ICAM-1-/- mice demonstrate significantly fewer adherent leukocytes in the retinal vasculature at 11 and 15 months after induction of diabetes with STZ. This condition is associated with fewer damaged endothelial cells and lesser vascular leakage. Galactosemia of up to 24 months causes pericyte and endothelial cell loss and formation of acellular capillaries. These changes are significantly reduced in CD18- and ICAM-1-deficient mice. Basement membrane thickening of the retinal vessels is increased in long-term galactosemic animals independent of the genetic strain. Here we show that chronic, low-grade subclinical inflammation is responsible for many of the signature vascular lesions of diabetic retinopathy. These data highlight the central and causal role of adherent leukocytes in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. They also underscore the potential utility of anti-inflammatory treatment in diabetic retinopathy.
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              Resolution of inflammation: state of the art, definitions and terms.

              A recent focus meeting on Controlling Acute Inflammation was held in London, April 27-28, 2006, organized by D.W. Gilroy and S.D. Brain for the British Pharmacology Society. We concluded at the meeting that a consensus report was needed that addresses the rapid progress in this emerging field and details how the specific study of resolution of acute inflammation provides leads for novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics, as well as defines the terms and key components of interest in the resolution process within tissues as appreciated today. The inflammatory response protects the body against infection and injury but can itself become dysregulated with deleterious consequences to the host. It is now evident that endogenous biochemical pathways activated during defense reactions can counter-regulate inflammation and promote resolution. Hence, resolution is an active rather than a passive process, as once believed, which now promises novel approaches for the treatment of inflammation-associated diseases based on endogenous agonists of resolution.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                ijms
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                MDPI
                1422-0067
                22 March 2018
                April 2018
                : 19
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA; aruebsam@ 123456med.umich.edu (A.R.); soniapar@ 123456umich.edu (S.P.)
                [2 ]Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: patricef@ 123456med.umich.edu ; Tel.: +01-734-232-8225
                Article
                ijms-19-00942
                10.3390/ijms19040942
                5979417
                29565290
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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