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Eye (Lond). 2017 Aug;31(8):1122-1130. doi: 10.1038/eye.2017.64. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Oxidative stress and diabetic retinopathy: development and treatment.

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Laboratory of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico City, Mexico.
Laboratory of Pharmacology, National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico City, Mexico.
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common microvascular complication in diabetic patients and one of the main causes of acquired blindness in the world. From the 90s until date, the incidence of this complication has increased. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a free radical with impaired electron that usually participates in the redox mechanisms of some body molecules such as enzymes, proteins, and so on. In normal biological conditions, ROS is maintained in equilibrium, however its overproduction can lead to biological process called oxidative stress and this is considered the main pathogenesis of DR. The retina is susceptible to ROS because of high-energy demands and exposure to light. When the balance is broken, ROS produces retinal cell injury by interacting with the cellular components. This article describes the possible role of oxidative stress in the development of DR and proposes some treatment options based on its stages. The review of the topic shows that blindness caused by DR can be avoided by early detection and timely treatment.

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