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Ophthalmology highlights Jan. 2009
Date:1/5/2009

(MCP)-1 and the anti-inflammatory pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) were selected because earlier research had linked them to the development or exacerbation of DME.

All four inflammatory factors were significantly higher and PEDF significantly lower in the vitreous of in patients with DME compared with the two other patient groups. VEGF and ICAM-1 had a stronger influence on the severity of DME than the other factors. VEGF is a strong vascular permeability factor that is overproduced in response to reduced oxygen levels in the retinas of people with retinopathy, and Dr. Funatsu's research suggests that VEFG is the key to the inflammatory response in DME. Building on earlier, similar findings, the study also indicates that PEDF may block the expression and actions of the key inflammatory factors.

Although this study suggests that intravitreal injection of steroids such as triamcinolone acetonide may be useful in treating DME, further clinical trials are required to confirm this finding.

"Triamcinolone acetonide down-regulates VEGF and ICAM-1, inhibits inflammatory cells, stabilizes cell membranes, and increases PEDF levels. It appears to control more of the cytokine messengers that contribute to abnormal blood vessel permeability," said Dr. Funatsu. He adds that further focus on VEGF and ICAM-1 may further illuminate the mechanisms of blood vessel breakdown in DME and lead to new treatments.


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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
415-447-0221
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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