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Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition in diabetic retinopathy

Wilms, M. (2013) Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition in diabetic retinopathy. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Diabetes is predicted to affect 380 million people by the year 2025.Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a serious condition which is the leading cause of acquired blindness and which 90% of the patients with diabetes develop after 20 years. Recently, some studies have found that endothelial cells can differentiate into mesenchymal cells, a process called endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT). EndMT has been linked to pathological fibrosis in the cornea and diabetic diseases, including diabetic nephropathy and diabetes mellitus–induced cardiac fibrosis. However, the occurrence of EndMT in the retina and the possible contribution to the pathogenesis of DR has not been investigated thoroughly. This thesis has discussed the indications that EndMT might also play a role in DR. As well as in the cornea, diabetes mellitus–induced cardiac fibrosis and diabetic nephropathy, TGF-β induces the endothelial cells to undergo EndMT, leading to irreversible fibrosis. Oxidative stress may be an important factor in this, as it increases the TGF-β concentration. Although this thesis has mostly focused on TGF-β, as it seems to be the main initiator of EndMT, the identification of other factors, like ET-1 and FGF, is also of great value to provide targets for possible therapeutic interventions. Further research is needed to understand the molecular mechanisms and pathways involved in EndMT. Moreover, human cell line studies and in vivo studies are necessary to confirm that EndMT indeed occurs in the retina and that it contributes to the pathogenesis of DR.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:54
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:54

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