Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Moran Eye Center researchers find gene linked to severe diabetic eye and kidney diseases

Researchers at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah and collaborative institutions have identified a gene called erythropoietin (EPO) that contributes to increased risk of severe diabetic eye and kidney diseases, called retinopathy and nephropathy.

The sight-threatening form of diabetic retinopathy, termed proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), is the most common cause of legal blindness in working-aged adults in the United States, accounting for 10% of new onset blindness overall. Diabetes is also the leading cause of kidney disease, called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), in the U.S. and the Western world.

Led by Kang Zhang M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Ophthalmic Genetics at the Moran Eye Center and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah, the study will be published online on May 5, 2008 in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Zhang explains the significance of the discovery: “We know that the development of PDR and ESRD in diabetic patients can be inherited. Although genetic factors are known to be important in the susceptibility (or resistance) to these complications, until now the genes involved have been mostly unknown.”

How did the researchers discover that this gene is involved in PDR and ESRD" In this study the researchers compared 1,618 people with PDR and ESDR, and 954 diabetes patients without any eye or kidney disease in three separate populations. Their studies demonstrate that if a person has a copy of mutant EPO gene, they have an increased risk of developing PDR and ESRD during their lifetime.

... more about:
»EPO »ESRD »Eye »Kidney »Moran »PDR »diabetic

Dr. Zhang explains the current use and cost of EPO for disease prevention and how this discovery may affect its use: “EPO is used extensively to help in the production of red blood cells when treating patients with anemia resulting from renal failure or chemotherapy. In the United States, erythropoietin represents one of the largest single drug expenses for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, approximately $1 billion a year. Patients with anemia due to chronic renal disease (many of whom have diabetes) who receive frequent dosing of EPO to maintain higher hemoglobin levels have a higher rate of cardiovascular complications than patients who maintain a lower hemoglobin level. A similar effect of EPO on accelerating the decline of kidney function had been suggested by earlier studies. Our study suggests that caution may be warranted when maintaining higher hemoglobin concentration using exogenous EPO treatment in diabetic patients, as it might accelerate progression to PDR and ESRD.”

"Though there is no proven pharmacologic treatment for diabetic vascular eye diseases, inhibiting the growth of unwanted blood vessel growth using antibodies directed against vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF therapy) has been advocated,” said Dr. Dean Li, who is a co-author from the Program in Human Molecular Biology and Genetics, also at University of Utah, “This genetic study suggests that future therapeutic strategies need to consider blunting the effects of erythropoietin in addition or as an alternative to an anti-VEGF strategy"

Steve Brown | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: EPO ESRD Eye Kidney Moran PDR diabetic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>