HMS investigators at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Beetham Eye Institute have identified certain endogenous protective factors that help prevent complications such as advanced retinopathy from developing in some people with type 1 diabetes. Profiling compounds extracted from retinal and vitreous tissues from human cadavers, the researchers found elevated levels of four proteins in individuals who had not developed sight complications. One protein, retinal binding protein 3, was shown to protect both the neuroretina and the vascular retina from diabetes-induced retinal disease, in part by helping to inhibit retinol-cell uptake of glucose, thus dampening the production of inflammatory factors linked to retinal disease.
Yokomizo H et al., Science Translational Medicine, July 2019
Image: The Medalist Study, Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center