An eye on insulin.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.
Journal of Clinical Investigation (Impact Factor: 13.77). 07/2003; 111(12):1817-9. DOI: 10.1172/JCI18927
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diabetic retinopathy, the most frequent complication of diabetes and leading cause of vision loss, involves vascular and neural damage in the retina. Insulin and IGF-1 signaling are now shown to contribute to retinal neovascularization, in part, by modulating the expression of various vascular mediators.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and related diseases represent major health threats to modern society. Related pathophysiology of impaired neuronal function in hypothalamic control centers regulating metabolism and body weight has been dissected extensively and recent studies have started focusing on potential roles of astrocytes and microglia. The hypothalamic vascular system, however, which maintains the microenvironment necessary for appropriate neuronal function, has been largely understudied. We recently discovered that high fat/high sucrose diet exposure leads to increased hypothalamic presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG1). Investigating this phenomenon further, we have discovered a significant increase in blood vessel length and density in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus in mice fed a high fat/high sucrose diet, compared to matched controls fed standard chow diet. We also found a clearly increased presence of α-smooth muscle actin immunoreactive vessels, which are rarely present in the ARC and indicate an increase in the formation of new arterial vessels. Along the blood brain barrier, an increase of degenerated endothelial cells are observed. Moreover, such hypothalamic angiogenesis was not limited to rodent models. We also found an increase in the number of arterioles of the infundibular nucleus (the human equivalent of the mouse ARC) in patients with type 2 diabetes, suggesting angiogenesis occurs in the human hypothalamus of diabetics. Our discovery reveals novel hypothalamic pathophysiology, which is reminiscent of diabetic retinopathy and suggests a potential functional involvement of the hypothalamic vasculature in the later stage pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome.
    12/2012; 1(1-2):95-100. DOI:10.1016/j.molmet.2012.08.004
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Retinal ischemia is a very useful model to study the impact of various cell death pathways, such as apoptosis and necrosis, in the ischemic retina. However, it is important to note that the retina is formed as an outpouching of the diencephalon and is part of the central nervous system. As such, the cell death pathways initiated in response to ischemic damage in the retina reflect those found in other areas of the central nervous system undergoing similar trauma. The retina is also more accessible than other areas of the central nervous system, thus making it a simpler model to work with and study. By utilizing the retinal model, we can greatly increase our knowledge of the cell death processes initiated by ischemia which lead to degeneration in the central nervous system. This paper examines work that has been done so far to characterize various aspects of cell death in the retinal ischemia model, such as various pathways which are activated, and the role neurotrophic factors, and discusses how these are relevant to the treatment of ischemic damage in both the retina and the greater central nervous system.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 12/2012; 34(1). DOI:10.1038/aps.2012.165 · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes, is characterized by an unbalanced production of nitric oxide (NO), a process regulated by nitric oxide synthase (NOS). We hypothesized that retinopathy might stem from changes in the insulin receptor substrate (IRS)/PI3K/AKT pathway and/or expression of NOS isoforms. Thus, we analysed the morphology and apoptosis index in retinas of obese rats in whom insulin resistance had been induced by a high-fat diet (HFD). Immunoblotting analysis revealed that the retinal tissue of HFD rats had lower levels of AKT(1) , eNOS and nNOS protein than those of samples taken from control animals. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analyses indicated higher levels of iNOS and 4-hydroxynonenal and a larger number of apoptotic nuclei in HFD rats. Finally, both the inner and outer retinal layers of HFD rats were thinner than those in their control counterparts. When considered alongside previous results, these patterns suggest two major ways in which HFD might impact animals: direct activity of ingested fatty acids and/or via insulin-resistance-induced changes in intracellular pathways. We discuss these possibilities in further detail and advocate the use of this animal model for further understanding relationships between retinopathy, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Cell Biochemistry and Function 01/2013; 31(1). DOI:10.1002/cbf.2861 · 2.13 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 1, 2014