Navigation Links
Study suggests statins may prevent diabetic-related blindness
Date:2/17/2011

Athens, Ga. New University of Georgia research has found that a statin drug that is often known by the brand-name Lipitor may help prevent blindness in people with diabetes.

In a study using diabetic rats, lead author Azza El-Remessy, assistant professor in the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and her colleagues found that statins prevent free radicals in the retina from killing nerves important to maintaining vision. The results of the study are published in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia.

"The exciting part is that there are now treatment options that are proven to be safe that can be immediately translated to patients," said El-Remessy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults and is observed in most patients after 10 to 15 years of diabetes. There are no currently FDA-approved oral treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and surgical methods are expensive and painful, she added.

Uncontrolled diabetes and excessive glucose induces free radicals, which causes the eye to release a protein called pro-nerve growth factor, which normally matures into nerve growth factor (NGF) to protect the retinal nerves, explained El-Remessy. The free radicals that are generated by diabetes stop the maturation of proNGF into NGF, however, which leads to impaired neuronal function.

Using diabetic rats and isolated retinal cells cultured in high glucose, El-Remessy and colleagues found that oral treatment with the drug atorvastatin blocked the formation of free radicals in the retina, which restored proper levels of nerve growth factor and preserved neurons in the retina. "It removed the break on the pro-form nerve growth factor to develop into its mature form," she said. The drug was orally administered to rats in doses proportional to levels given to human patients with cardiovascular problems.

In a related study, also in the March edition of the journal Diabetologia, El-Remessy and her colleagues found that epicathecin, a component of green tea, also prevented the adverse actions of proNGF in the retina. It does not affect the maturation of proNGF into NGF, explained El-Remessy, but regulated a receptor downstream that proNGF uses to send a signal to kill the neuron. Epicathechin prevents the death by inhibiting that receptor. "We are still getting the same result, that we are preventing neuronal death and restoring neuronal function, but just in a different way," said El-Remessy.

The findings have implications not only for the eye, but also for other parts of the body where nerves are affected by diabetes, said El-Remessy. "Diabetic patients need to protect the nerves beyond vision," she said. In future studies, she hopes to explore nerve functioning impaired by imbalance of proNGF in other parts of the body. "If proNGF accumulates in the eyes in diabetes, I can imagine that it accumulates in the nerve endings in the skin, in the foot, in the hand and in the brain everywhere," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Azza El-Remessy
aelremessy@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-6760
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First-of-its-kind study shows benefits of electrical stimulation therapy for people paralyzed by spinal cord injury
2. Designing new molecular tools to study the life and death of a cancer cell
3. Scripps Research study sheds light on RNA on/off switches
4. Study finds massive flux of gas, in addition to liquid oil, at BP well blowout in Gulf
5. Pulmonary fibrosis inhibited by pentraxin-2/SAP in research study
6. NSF funds study of landscape restoration effects on Pennsylvania stream
7. VTT to study one of worlds oldest beers
8. Brandeis study shows economic impact of dengue virus in Americas
9. Field study of smoggy inversions to end
10. Road may disrupt migration, ruin Serengeti, study finds
11. Island-scale study reveals climate-change effects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/9/2016)... Elevay is currently known as ... for high net worth professionals seeking travel for work ... world, there is still no substitute for a face-to-face ... your deal with a firm handshake. This is why ... of citizenship via investment programs like those offered by ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to ... period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being ... the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), a life ... development of innovative products and services, announced today that ... denied its petition to review decisions by ... Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not patent eligible ... Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision.  In ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... commercial operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University of ... as adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores ... 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: