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Streptozotocin induced diabetic retinopathy in rat and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor

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Author(s): Chen-Yuan Gong | Bin Lu | Qian-Wen Hu | Li-Li Ji

Journal: International Journal of Ophthalmology
ISSN 2222-3959

Volume: 6;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 573;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: diabetic retinopathy | vascular endothelial growth factor | vascular endothelial growth factor receptor

ABSTRACT
AIM:To establish the rat model of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic retinopathy (DR), which is the most common cause of visual loss and blindness in patients with diabetes, and observe the gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors during the development of DR.METHODS:A rat model of diabetes was established by intraperitoneal injection of STZ. The diabetic rats were housed for 2, 3 and 4 months after the development of diabetes. Retinal histopathological observation was performed. The retinal vessels were observed by immunofluorescence staining by CD31. The mRNA expression of VEGF, VEGF receptor 1 and 2 (VEGFR1/2) in rat retina was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis.RESULTS:Retinal histopathological observation showed the morphological changes of inner nuclear layer (INL) and outer nuclear layer (ONL) at any time-point, and also demonstrated the increased new vessels at both 3, 4 months after the development of diabetes. The CD31 staining results showed that the number of vessels was increased in the retinas of diabetic rats at both 3 and 4 months after the development of diabetes. As compared to the normal rats, the mRNA expression of VEGF was increased in retinas of diabetic rats at 3 months after the development of diabetes, while VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 mRNA expression was increased at 2, 3 and 4 months after the development of diabetes.CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results demonstrated that DR was occurred at 3 months after the development of diabetes, and the mRNA expression of VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 were increased in the process of DR. The present study further evidenced the involvement of VEGF and its receptors in the process of DR.
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