Proteins key to understanding DR

May 21, 2008

Diabetes-induced changes to 37 separate proteins of the vitreous may be the key to understanding the mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy (DR), according to a study to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.

Diabetes-induced changes to 37 separate proteins of the vitreous may be the key to understanding the mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy (DR), according to a study to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.

Edward P. Feener, PhD of Harvard Medical School, US and colleagues performed a proteomic analysis and compared vitreous samples from 17 subjects, comprising those without diabetes (NDM), those with diabetes but without DR (noDR), and those with DR.

The team found that, of the 252 proteins identified in the vitreous, 56 were found to be in statistically significantly different levels in noDR and DR subjects compared with NDM subjects. This included 32 proteins that were increased and 10 proteins that were decreased in DR subjects compared with NDM subjects. Of the 30 proteins associated with the kallikrein-kinin, coagulation, and complement systems within the vitreous, five were increased in DR subjects compared with NDM subjects. Factor XII was present only in the vitreous of DR subjects.

This new understanding of the biochemical changes found in the eyes of DR patients could, the team believes, further understanding of DR mechanisms of action, thereby leading to new treatment options.