Blood flow distribution and the endothelial surface layer in the diabetic retina
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
- LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport
Diabetic retinopathy is known as a microvascular complication of hyperglycemia, with a breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier, loss of pericytes, formation of microhemorrhages, early decreases in perfusion and areas of ischemia, with the latter speculated to induce the eventual proliferative, angiogenic phase of the disease. Our animal models of diabetic retinopathy demonstrate similar decreases in retinal blood flow as seen in the early stages of diabetes in humans. Our studies also show an alteration in the retinal distribution of red blood cells, with the deep capillary layer receiving a reduced fraction, and with flow being diverted more towards the superficial vascular layer. Normal red blood cell distribution is dependent on the presence of the endothelial surface layer, specifically the glycocalyx, which has been reported to be partially lost in the diabetic retina of both humans and animals. This review addresses these two phenomena in diabetes: altered perfusion patterns and loss of the glycocalyx, with a possible connection between the two.
- capillary density, capillary perfusion, Glycocalyx, PECAM-1