September 1983
Volume 24, Issue 9
Articles  |   September 1983
Aldose reductase activity in retinal and cerebral microvessels and cultured vascular cells.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 1983, Vol.24, 1250-1258. doi:
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      A Kennedy, R N Frank, S D Varma; Aldose reductase activity in retinal and cerebral microvessels and cultured vascular cells.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1983;24(9):1250-1258.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Isolated microvessels (primarily capillaries) from bovine retina and cerebral cortex, as well as cultured bovine retinal capillary pericytes and porcine and canine retinal capillary endothelial cells contain apparent aldose reductase activity. This conclusion is based on the ability of these cultured cells and vessel fragments to reduce DL-glyceraldehyde in preference to D-glucuronate at low (0.1 mM) substrate concentrations, in the presence of NADPH, and in the accumulation of high levels of sorbitol or galactitol when retinal pericytes and endothelial cells are cultured in media enriched in glucose or galactose. The quantitative similarities of these activities in bovine retinal and cerebral microvessels, as well as the quantitatively similar ability of these two sets of microvessels to oxidize 14C-labeled glucose with the label either in the C-1 or the C-6 position, suggests that aldose reductase may not be a major causal factor in diabetic retinopathy. This conclusion is suggested because, while these metabolic activities are similar in bovine retinal and cerebral microvessels, only the retinal microvasculature suffers major anatomic and functional damage in diabetes. This conclusion must be viewed with caution, however, because other metabolic pathways that we have not investigated may be altered by an excess of sugar alcohols, and be present in differing activities in retinal and cerebral microvessels; species differences may exist; and similar experiments have not been conducted using human microvessels.


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