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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2007, Article ID 39765, 6 pages
Research Article

Detection of Elevated Signaling Amino Acids in Human Diabetic Vitreous by Rapid Capillary Electrophoresis

1Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 W Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607, USA
2Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St., S. W. Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3Retina Consultants, Suite 301331 Laidley ST, Charleston, WV 25301, USA

Received 30 January 2007; Revised 27 March 2007; Accepted 19 April 2007

Academic Editor: Subrata Chakrabarti

Copyright © 2007 Miao-Jen Lu et al. 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.


Elevated glutamate is implicated in the pathology of PDR. The ability to rapidly assess the glutamate and amino acid content of vitreous provides a more complete picture of the chemical changes occurring at the diabetic retina and may lead to a better understanding of the pathology of PDR. Vitreous humor was collected following vitrectomies of patients with PDR and control conditions of macular hole or epiretinal membrane. A capillary electrophoresis method was developed to quantify glutamate and arginine. The analysis is relatively fast (<6 minutes) and utilizes a poly(ethylene)oxide and sodium dodecylsulfate run buffer. Both amino acid levels show significant increases in PDR patients versus controls and are comparable to other reports. The levels of vitreal glutamate vary inversely with the degree of observed hemorrhage. The results demonstrate a rapid method for assessment of a number of amino acids to characterize the chemical changes at the diabetic retina to better understand tissue changes and potentially identify new treatments.