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Disease Markers
Volume 32 (2012), Issue 2, Pages 93-99

GSTT1 Null Genotype Is a Risk Factor for Diabetic Retinopathy in Caucasians with Type 2 Diabetes, whereas GSTM1 Null Genotype Might Confer Protection against Retinopathy

Ines Cilenšek,1 Sara Mankoč,1 Mojca Globočnik Petrovič,2 and Daniel Petrovič1

1Institute of Histology and Embryology, Medical Faculty Ljubljana, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2Eye Clinic, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 23 February 2012; Accepted 23 February 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim: Substantial data indicate that oxidative stress is involved in the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the genetic polymorphisms: polymorphic deletions of glutathione S-transferases M1 (GSTM1) and T1 (GSTT1) and Ile105Val of the GSTP1 are associated with DR in Slovenian patients with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: In this cross sectional case-control study 604 unrelated Slovene subjects (Caucasians) with type 2 diabetes mellitus were enrolled: 284 patients with DR (cases) and the control group of 320 subjects with type 2 diabetes of more than 10 years’ duration who had no clinical signs of DR. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).

Results: In our study, the deletion of the GSTM1 was found less frequent in cases with DR than in the controls (27.5% versus 44.4%; P < 0.001), whereas the deletion of GSTT1 was found significantly more often in cases than in the controls (49.3% versus 29.7%;P < 0.001). We did not find statistically significant differences in the genotype distribution in GSTP1 (Ile105Val) polymorphism between cases and controls (40.5% versus 46.0%).

Conclusions: We may conclude that individuals homozygous for the deletion of GSTT1 are at an ≈ 2-fold-greater risk of DR, whereas the GSTM1 deficiency is associated with lower frequency of DR in type 2 diabetics.