Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the number one cause of blindness in the developed world and fifth leading cause worldwide. Unfortunately, there is poor understanding of the hemodynamic changes in early DR. Prior studies have shown conflicting results in regards to the patterns of blood flow alterations in early retinopathy, both in humans and in animal models. Furthermore, the specific timeline of structural abnormalities in the retinal vasculature and their relationship to blood flow remain unclear. We wanted to use an animal model to fully characterize the early changes in this disease. A potential obstacle is that streptozotocin-induced (STZ-induced) diabetic rats develop cataracts as early as 6-weeks, which can interfere with optical visualization and imaging of the retina. We will use a topical aldose reductase inhibitor to delay cataract formation and examine whether this affects the overall measurements of retinal blood flow and oxygen consumption. Our hope is that this project will lay the foundation for future quantitative measures of oxygen consumption in retinal tissues. By understanding the early metabolic derangements on a comprehensive level, this study will hopefully provide better understanding of early changes in diabetic retinopathy and hence identify potential new targets for therapeutic interventions for individuals with diabetes.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/12 → 6/30/13|
- Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness (Award Letter 10/5/12)