Author(s): Gaucher D, Chiappore JA, Pques M, Simonutti M, Boitard C,
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Abstract Very early neuroglial changes have been observed to precede major vascular changes in the retina of diabetic patients and animal models. We investigated the sequence of these neuroglial changes further, in mice with alloxan-induced diabetes. Diabetes was induced by a single injection of Alloxan into C57/Bl6 mice, which subsequently received daily insulin injections. Diabetic and control animals were weighed and their blood glucose levels were determined weekly. Electroretinographic recordings and scanner laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) examinations were carried out 15 days, one month and three months after the onset of diabetes. Diabetes induction was confirmed by the presence of glucose in the urine, a tripling of blood glucose level, weight loss and an increase in glycated haemoglobin levels. Three months after diabetes onset, the electroretinogram b/a wave amplitude ratio was decreased at the highest light intensities and oscillatory potentials were delayed. The retinal fundus and vessels remained unchanged. No cell apoptosis was detected in vertical and horizontal sections of the retina by TUNEL or immunocytochemistry for the active caspase 3. No increase in GFAP-immunostaining indicative of a glial reaction was observed in Müller glial cells. By contrast, changes in the morphology of microglial cells were observed, with marked shortening of the dendrites. Thus, the microglial reaction occurs very early in progression to diabetic retinopathy, at about the same time as early electroretinographic modifications. The absence of apoptotic cells, contrasting with previous results in mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes, is consistent with insulin neuroprotection.
This article was published in Vision Res
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism