Higher AlphaB-crystallin levels linked to diabetic retinopathy

December 21, 2016

(HealthDay)—Vitreous levels of alphaB-crystallin are significantly higher in eyes of patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) compared to the eyes of controls without diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Wei Chen, Ph.D., from the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University in China, and colleagues assessed vitreous samples collected before vitrectomy from 46 eyes of 46 consecutive patients with PDR and 19 patients without who had vitrectomy for idiopathic macular hole. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure concentrations of alphaB-crystallin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

The researchers found that the vitreous level of alphaB-crystallin was significantly higher in patients with PDR versus controls (P < 0.0001), as was the vitreous concentration of VEGF (P < 0.0001). Similarly, the expression levels of both alphaB-crystallin and VEGF were significantly higher in eyes with active PDR than in those with inactive PDR.

"These results suggest a significant increase of alphaB-crystallin in the vitreous fluid of patients with PDR and present a crucial association between alphaB-crystallin and VEGF with angiogenic activity in PDR," the authors write.

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