Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease

Date:
January 18, 2010
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
The discovery of an inflammatory mediator key to the blinding effects of diabetic retinopathy is pointing toward a potential new treatment.

Drs. Modesto Rojas (from left), Ruth Caldwell and Wenbo Zhang's research indicates that an antibody already under study to treat rheumatoid arthritis may help treat diabetic retinopathy as well.
Credit: Medical College of Georgia

The discovery of an inflammatory mediator key to the blinding effects of diabetic retinopathy is pointing toward a potential new treatment, Medical College of Georgia researchers said.

Related Articles


Interleukin-6, known to contribute to the debilitating joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, also helps ignite inflammation of the retina, a first step in a disease that is the leading cause of blindness is working-age adults, MCG researchers reported online in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

The finding has the scientists looking at whether an interleukin-6 antibody, which is showing success in treating rheumatoid arthritis, can halt inflammation in mice with diabetic retinopathy. "We expect that this neutralizing antibody can be used to treat diabetic retinopathy in the future," said Dr. Wenbo Zhang, assistant research scientist in MCG's Vascular Biology Center. Drs. Zhang and Modesto Rojas, senior postdoctoral fellow, are co-first authors on the paper.

Angiotensin II, a powerful constrictor of blood vessels, is typically associated with the kidneys where it plays a vital role in regulating blood pressure. The scientists suspect angiotensin II helps promotes wound healing and regulation of pressure within small blood vessels in the eye.

However in diabetes, angiotensin II levels increase in the eye -- probably in response to high glucose levels -- and help promote inflammation, spurring remodeling of blood vessels and tissue destruction, Dr. Rojas said. "Vascular inflammation is one of the first steps to inducing the changes in the retina."

MCG scientists have shown interleukin-6 is a needed accomplice whose previously undetectable levels in the eye also increase, said Dr. Ruth Caldwell, cell biologist a the Vascular Biology Center and the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the study's corresponding author.

With the help of interleukin-6, angiotensin II induces white blood cells to stick to the endothelial cells lining blood vessels of the retina, which slows blood flow. The white blood cells also start producing inflammatory and vascular growth factors that cause blood vessel walls to leak and thicken, further constricting blood flow. Retinal cells start dying from the reduced blood and oxygen supplies that result. In response, the body prompts growth of new blood vessels, presumably to help but instead causing more vision impairment.

If the trigger, high glucose, was temporary, these natural responses might help clear damaged cells and protect the eye. "Inflammation is a compensatory mechanism that gets activated as a survival mechanism," Dr. Rojas said. "If it continues, the effect is bad."

"We have known for along time if patients keep their blood sugar under perfect control, they don't have these problems, but that's hard," Dr. Caldwell adds. "That is why it's such a difficult disease."

To examine interleukin-6's role in the destruction, the researchers injected angiotensin II into the vitreous portion of the eyes of mice missing the gene for the inflammatory factor as well as normal mice. The extra angiotensin did little to the retinal vessels of mice lacking interleukin-6 but vessels in the normal mouse retina mimicked the inflammatory reaction found in diabetic retinopathy. When they reintroduced interleukin-6 to the genetically altered mice, the damage mimicked that of the normal mice. "So when we knock out interleukin-6, we can block the effects of angiotensin II," Dr. Caldwell said.

The scientists want to see whether the interleukin-6 antibody can be used to prevent damage by giving it shortly after the onset of diabetes in rodents and as a treatment by using it later in the disease process.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs and postdoctoral fellowship awards from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and the American Heart Association.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100114143312.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2010, January 18). Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100114143312.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100114143312.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins