Increased Angiopoietin-1 and -2 levels in human vitreous are associated with proliferative diabetic retinopathy

  • \(\bf Background\) Diabetic retinopathy is a frequent complication of diabetes mellitus and a leading cause of blindness in adults. The objective of this study was to elucidate the diabetic retinopathy pathophysiology in more detail by comparing protein alterations in human vitreous of different diabetic retinopathy stages. \(\bf Methods\) Vitreous samples were obtained from 116 patients undergoing pars plana vitrectomy. Quantitative immunoassays were performed of angiogenic factors (VEGF-A, PIGF, Angiopoietin-1, Angiopoietin-2, Galectin-1) as well as cytokines (IL-1\(\beta\), IL-8, IFN-\(\gamma\), TNF-\(\alpha\), CCL3) in samples from control patients (patients who don’t suffer from diabetes; n = 58) as well as diabetes mellitus patients without retinopathy (n = 25), non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (n = 12), and proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients (n = 21). In addition, correlation analysis of protein levels in vitreous samples and fasting glucose values of these patients as well as correlation analyses of protein levels and VEGF-A were performed. \(\bf Results\) We detected up-regulated levels of VEGF-A (p = 0.001), PIGF (p<0.001), Angiopoietin-1 (p = 0.005), Angiopoietin-2 (p<0.001), IL-1\(\beta\) (p = 0.012), and IL-8 (p = 0.018) in proliferative diabetic retinopathy samples. Interestingly, we found a strong positive correlation between Angiopoietin-2 and VEGF-A levels as well as a positive correlation between Angiopoietin-1 and VEGF-A. \(\bf Conclusion\) This indicated that further angiogenic factors, besides VEGF, but also pro-inflammatory cytokines are involved in disease progression and development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In contrast, factors other than angiogenic factors seem to play a crucial role in non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy development. A detailed breakdown of the pathophysiology contributes to future detection and treatment of the disease.

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Author:Teresa TsaiGND, Mohannad AlweesGND, Mohammad Ali AsaadGND, Janine TheileGND, Vinodh KakkasseryORCiDGND, Burkhard DickORCiDGND, Tim SchultzGND, Stephanie Christine JoachimORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):PLOS ONE
Place of publication:San Francisco
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/01/11
Date of first Publication:2023/01/20
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Issue:1, Article e0280488
First Page:e0280488-1
Last Page:e0280488-16
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Experimental Eye Research Institute
Dewey Decimal Classification:Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / Medizin, Gesundheit
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Medizinische Fakultät
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International