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From the Board
New Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

imgWe are pleased to share the news that Dr. Sayon Roy and his team at Boston University School of Medicine identified a possible new treatment for diabetic retinopathy. The study found hyperglycemic and diabetic conditions increase LOX-PP levels and promote retinal dysfunction associated with the development of vascular lesions in diabetic retinopathy. The research findings have been featured as Editor’s Choice article and published in September 2019 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population and is characterized by apoptotic cell loss in the retinal vasculature. Lysyl oxidase propeptide (LOX-PP), released during LOX processing, has been implicated in promoting apoptosis in various diseased tissues. United Scientific Group Vice-president Dr. Sayon Roy and his research team investigated whether diabetes alters LOX-PP expression and thereby influence AKT pathway and affect retinal endothelial cell survival. In this study, the authors have shown that HG-induced LOX-PP overexpression plays a significant role in promoting apoptosis in retinal vascular cells. This novel finding provides a critical insight into a hitherto unknown mechanism for hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis involving pro-LOX processing that compromises AKT activity involved in cell survival, thus contributing to apoptotic cell death associated with diabetic retinopathy.

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