Oxidative stress in diabetic retina
The authors describe the alterations usually associated with diabetic retinopathy. They concern the classical thickening of the basal membrane of retinal capillaries and the associated modification of retinal vessel permeability. These alterations correspond to the blood-retinal barrier disruption. The authors then discuss the participation of oxygenated free radicals in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy. They report several experimental studies establishing such a participation and finally describe their own results obtained on a model of retinas isolated from alloxan-induced diabetic rats.
After one month of evolution, the electroretinograms (ERG) recorded on isolated retinas from diabetic rats had an amplitude about 20% lower than the controls, whereas after two months of diabetes, this decrease was about 60%. Under these conditons, the authors tested the protective properties of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on their model. They observed that in EGb-treated animals (100 mg/kg/day), the ERG had a significantly (p < 0.001) greater amplitude than untreated animals after two months of diabetes evolution.
In conclusion, the authors discuss the possible utilization of a free radical scavenger, such as EGb 761, in the prevention of the retinal impairment in diabetes.
KeywordsDiabetic Retinopathy Free Radical Scavenger Aldose Reductase Diabetes Evolution Ginkgo Biloba Extract
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