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Sampathkumar Rangasamy, Ramprasad Srinivasan, Joann Maestas, Paul G. McGuire, Arup Das; A Potential Role for Angiopoietin 2 in the Regulation of the Blood–Retinal Barrier in Diabetic Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(6):3784-3791. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6386.
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Although VEGF has been identified as an important mediator of the blood–retinal barrier alteration in diabetic retinopathy, the hypothesis for this study was that that other molecules, including the angiopoietins (Ang-1 and -2), may play a role. The expression of angiopoietins was analyzed in an animal model of diabetic retinopathy, and the role of Ang-2 in the regulation of diabetes-induced alterations of vascular permeability was characterized.
Diabetes was induced in rats, and human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) were grown in media with 5.5 or 30.5 mM glucose. Levels of Ang-1 and -2 mRNA and protein were analyzed. Fluorescence-based assays were used to assess the effect of Ang-2 on vascular permeability in vivo and in vitro. The effect of Ang-2 on VE-cadherin function was assessed by measuring the extent of tyrosine phosphorylation.
Ang-2 mRNA and protein increased in the retinal tissues after 8 weeks of diabetes and in high-glucose–treated cells. Intravitreal injection of Ang-2 in rats produced a significant increase in retinal vascular permeability. Ang-2 increased HREC monolayer permeability that was associated with a decrease in VE-cadherin and a change in monolayer morphology. High glucose and Ang-2 produced a significant increase in VE-cadherin phosphorylation.
Ang-2 is upregulated in the retina in an animal model of diabetes, and hyperglycemia induces the expression of Ang-2 in isolated retinal endothelial cells. Increased Ang-2 alters VE-cadherin function, leading to increased vascular permeability. Thus, Ang-2 may play an important role in increased vasopermeability in diabetic retinopathy.
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