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Experimental Diabesity Research
Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 287-301

Growth Factors in Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

1Department of Pathology, University of Western Ontario, Dental Sciences Building, London, Ontario N6A 5C1, Canada
2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Received 13 February 2003; Accepted 12 April 2003

Copyright © 2003 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.


Many growth factors are implicated in the pathogenesis of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Alteration of growth factors and their receptors in diabetes has been shown in both experimental and clinical studies. Sustained hyperglycemia resulting from long-standing diabetes leads to several biochemical abnormalities that consequently result in retinal hypoxia. Retinal oxygenation state regulates various growth factors that promote angiogenesis in order to meet the oxygen demands of the tissue. However, unregulated expression of these growth factors and induction of complex cascades leading to augmentation of other proangiogenic factors, which may not be regulated by tissue oxygenation, leads to uncontrolled retinal neovascularization and blindness in diabetic patients.