Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 451–462 | Cite as

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) in diabetic retinopathy: latest evidence and clinical considerations

  • Yousof Taghavi
  • Gholamhossein Hassanshahi
  • Nicholas G. Kounis
  • Ioanna Koniari
  • Hossein KhorramdelazadEmail author


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is considered as a diabetes-related complication that can render severe visual impairments and is also a risk factor for acquired blindness in both developed as well as developing countries. Through fibrovascular epiretinal membranes (ERMs), this condition can similarly lead to tractional retinal detachment. Laboratory efforts evaluating the DR pathogenesis can be provided by ocular vitreous fluid and ERMs resulting from vitrectomy. The clinical stages of DR are significantly associated with expression levels of certain chemokines, including monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) in the intraocular fluid. The MCP-1 is also a known potent chemotactic factor for monocytes and macrophages that can stimulate them to produce superoxide and other mediators. Following hyperglycemia, retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells, endothelial cells, and Müller’s glial cells are of utmost importance for MCP-1 production, and vitreous MCP-1 levels rise in patients with DR. Increased expression of the MCP-1 in the eyes can also play a significant role in the pathogenesis of DR. In this review, current clinical and laboratory progress achieved on the MCP-1 and the DR concerning neovascularization and inflammatory responses in vitreous and/or aqueous humor of DR patients was summarized. It was suggested that further exploration of the MCP-1/CCR2 axis association between clinical stages of DR and expression levels of inflammatory and angiogenic cytokines and chemokines, principally the MCP-1 might lead to potential therapies aiming at neutralizing antibodies and viral vectors.


Retinopathy CCL2 MCP-1 DR PDR 



This research project was supported by Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All of the authors declared no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The International CCN Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geriatric Care Research CenterRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology, School of MedicineRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran
  3. 3.Molecular Medicine Research Center, Research Institute of Basic Medical SciencesRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran
  4. 4.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineRafsanjan University of Medical SciencesRafsanjanIran
  5. 5.Department of CardiologyUniversity of Patras Medical SchoolPatrasGreece
  6. 6.Department of CardiologyQueen Elizabeth HospitalBirminghamEngland

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