Diabetic Retinopathy in Humans
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. People with Diabetes mellitus have abnormally high glucose levels, which over years can lead to blood vessels damage.
Above: Diagram of a normal eye (top) and one damaged by diabetic retinopathy (bottom). Note the white spots indicative of damaged vessels and spots of neovascularization, hemorrhage, and microaneurysms. Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-retinopathy/multimedia/diabetic-retinopathy/img-20007767
This damage can then lead to diabetic retinopathy which is characterized by changes in the vasculature of the retina as a result of irregular circulating glucose levels.
Diabetic Retinopathy in Mice
Hyperglycemia has been shown to reduce the elasticity of blood vessels, which can have dramatic effects on the small blood vessels in the retina. Our lab is currently investigating the effect of hyperglycemia on retinal vascular development by inducing type-1 diabetes in mice. We hope this can provide insight to the pathways affecting diabetic retinopathy.