The key to better treating retinopathy - damage to blood vessels in the retina that affects up to 80 percent of diabetic patients - lies not in the retina but in damage to the nerves found in bone marrow that leads to the abnormal release of stem cells, said Julia Busik, an associate professor in MSU's Department of Physiology.
"With retinopathy, blood vessels grow abnormally in the retina, distort vision and eventually can cause blindness," said Busik, whose research appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. "There has been a lot of progress in treating the complication, but most treatments use a laser that is painful to the patient and destroys parts of the retina."
Busik and her team found that nerve damage in diabetic bone marrow - where stem cells known as endothelial progenitor cells reside - affects the daily release of those EPCs into the bloodstream. Normally EPCs would exit the bone marrow and repair damage done in the vascular system during sleep.
Using animal models, the research team observed that the pattern of EPC release is faulty in diabetic bone marrow, creating abnormally low levels of EPCs during sleep, when they are needed most. That decrease in EPC release from a diabetic patient's bone marrow preceded the development of retinopathy.
"When the bone marrow suffers nerve damage in diabetic patients, it no longer provides a signal for the timely release of these reparative stem cells," Busik said.
This novel finding shows that bone marrow nerve damage represents a new therapeutic target for treatment of all diabetic vascular complications, such as retinopathy.
"This opens up new avenues to better treatments outside of the retina that focus on stem cells and the causes of the nerve damage in bone marrow," said Busik, whose collaborators included other researchers from MSU and the University of Florida. "We know what happens in the retina and have treatments that are very invasive; we now can look at a host of other options."
Those options include looking at ways to prevent the original nerve damage in the bone marrow and potentially repairing or replacing the damaged endothelial progenitor cells.
Busik's work was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
Future work needs to be done to explain why the nerve damage in bone marrow occurs in diabetic patients to begin with, she said.
Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research and outreach for more than 150 years. MSU is known internationally as a major public university with global reach and extraordinary impact. Its 17 degree-granting colleges attract scholars worldwide who are interested in combining education with practical problem solving.
Jason Cody | EurekAlert!
Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences