Diabetic retinopathy: early clinical signs and intervention using a Connexin43 modulator

Jul 31, 2018Ageing Vision, Physiological optics of the eye, Research

Diabetes is a long-term condition that describes a group of metabolic diseases caused by high sugar levels. In the eye, high blood sugar causes damage to small blood vessels, which swell and may leak fluid. We have identified that even minor blood vessel leakage causes inflammation in the tissue, and this is potentially an early sign, not yet used diagnostically in the clinic.

Using our unique image analysis protocols, we are validating the use of clinical images to detect inflammation. We are exploring in detail the clinical images and the histological appearance of the tissue in animal models of diabetes. We are also treating the animal model to study the efficacy of an orally available treatment in reducing inflammation. This project could offer novel treatments for vascular complications associated with diabetes.

Author: Dr Monica Acosta

Contact: m.acosta@auckland.ac.nz

Collaborators: Professor Colin Green, Dr Ilva Rupenthal, Dr David Squirrell

Funding details: Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust 2018-2020

Status: Funded & running