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Oxidative Stress, Tyrosine Phosphorylation and Vascular Permeability in Diabetic Retinopathy

Project Member(s): Van Reyk, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Diabetes Council (Australian Diabetes Council Diabetes Research Grants)

Start year: 2002

Summary: Macular oedema is the commonest cause of visual loss in patients with diabetes. Increased permeability of the retinal vasculature can be detected soon after the onset of diabetes before the clinical signs of diabetic retinopathy are visible. A greater understanding of the cellular mechanisms that lead to these initial changes may identify sites for future therapeutic intervention. For example, the demonstration of a role for oxidative stress in bringing about these changes would support the use of therapies based on compounds known to inhibit/block oxidative stress, anti-oxidants, to complement existing procedures used to manage and treat diabetes. The model we will employ may provide a way to determine which anti-oxidant compounds are likely to be most effective in the prevention or treatment of diabetic macular oedema. Additionally, if tyrosine phosphorylation of interendothelial cell junctional complexes is shown to be a critical step in the pathogenesis of diabetic macular oedema, tyrosine kinase inhibitors may represent a novel intervention in diabetic retinopathy either alone or in conjunction with anti-oxidants and other treatments.

FOR Codes: Cell Physiology, Endocrine organs and diseases (incl. diabetes), Diabetes, Clinical health