Dysregulation of trophic factors contributes to diabetic retinopathy in the Ins2Akita mouse

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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is considered as a diabetes-related complication that can lead to severe visual impairments. By 2030, it is expected that 1 in 5 adults will suffer from the disease. Suitable animal models for chronic DR are essential for a better understanding of the pathophysiology and to further develop new treatments. The Ins2Akita mouse is a type 1 diabetes model that shows signs of both early and late stages of DR, including pericyte loss, increased vascular permeability, increased acellular capillaries and neovascularization. To further characterize DR in the Ins2Akita mouse model, we have evaluated the protein levels of the angiogenesis inducers vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) and the angiogenesis inhibitor pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF). Additionally, we have analyzed the protein expression profile of the glial markers ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as well as of the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1). In this study we demonstrate that, with disease progression, there is the development of an inflammatory response and an unbalanced expression of pro- and antiangiogenic factors in the neural retina and in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of Ins2Akita mice. Therefore, our data provide support for the diabetic retinopathy features detected in the Ins2Akita retina, reflecting what is observed in the human pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108027
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Ins2 mouse model
  • Pigment epithelium-derived factor
  • Placental growth factor
  • Retina
  • Retinal pigment epithelium


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