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Arch Physiol Biochem. 2008 Feb;114(1):54-62. doi: 10.1080/13813450801900553 .

Insulin, insulin analogues and diabetic retinopathy.

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1
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Rheumatology, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

Insulin is absolutely vital for living beings. It is not only involved in metabolism, but also in the regulation of growth factors, e.g. IGF-1. In this review we address the role insulin has in the natural evolution of diabetic retinopathy. On the one hand, chronic deficiency of insulin and IGF-1 at the retina is thought to cause capillary degeneration, with subsequent ischaemia. On the other hand, acute abundance of (exogenously administered) insulin and IGF-1 enhances ischaemia-induced VEGF expression. A critical ratio of tissue VEGF-susceptibility: VEGF-availability triggers vascular proliferation (i.e. of micro-aneurysms and/or abnormal vessels). The patent-protected insulin analogues Lispro, Glulisine, Aspart, Glargine and Detemir are artificial insulin derivatives with altered biological responses compared to natural insulin (e.g. divergent insulin and /or IGF-1 receptor-binding characteristics, signalling patterns, and mitogenicity). Their safety profiles concerning diabetic retinopathy remain to be established by randomised controlled trials. Anecdotal reports and circumstantial evidence suggest that Lispro and Glargine might worsen diabetic retinopathy.

PMID:
18465359
DOI:
10.1080/13813450801900553
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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