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FEBS Lett. 2009 May 6;583(9):1521-7. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.04.007. Epub 2009 Apr 11.

Endoplasmic reticulum stress is implicated in retinal inflammation and diabetic retinopathy.

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Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center and Section of Endocrinology and Diabetes, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 941 Stanton L. Young Blvd., BSEB 331A, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.


Diabetic retinopathy is a chronic low-grade inflammatory disease; however, the mechanisms remain elusive. In the present study, we demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was activated in the retina in animal models of diabetes and oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR). Induction of ER stress by tunicamycin resulted in significantly increased expression of inflammatory molecules in the retina. Inhibition of ER stress by chemical chaperone 4-phenyl butyric acid ameliorated inflammation in cultured human retinal endothelial cells exposed to hypoxia, and in the retinas of diabetic and OIR mice. These findings indicate that ER stress is a potential mediator of retinal inflammation in diabetic retinopathy.

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