Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of acquired blindness. This publication from our friends at University of Buenos Aires touches on potential root causes: Diego C. Fernandez, Laura A. Pasquini, Damián Dorfman, Hernán J. Aldana Marcos, Ruth E. Rosenstein. Early Distal Axonopathy of the Visual Pathway in Experimental Diabetes. doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.09.018
" In animals that had been diabetic for 6 weeks, a large increase in astrocyte reactivity occurred in the distal (but not the intraorbital) portion, which coincided with significant axon loss. Moreover, profound myelin alterations and altered morphologic features of oligodendrocyte lineage were observed at the distal (but not the proximal) optic nerve portion. The present results suggest that axoglial alterations at the distal portion of the optic nerve could be the first structural change in the diabetic visual pathway."
The authors used our PDGFR Alpha/CD140A Marker to Study the change in Oligodendrocyte Lineage precursor cells. Expression of the protein was increased in these cells with the presence of disorganized and hypertrophic cells. This could disrupt formation of myelin resulting the pathological alteration at the distal portion.
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