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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 693426, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/693426
Review Article

Neurovascular Interaction and the Pathophysiology of Diabetic Retinopathy

Haohua Qian1,2 and Harris Ripps1,3,4,5

1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1855 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
2Visual Function Core, National Eye Institute, 49 Convent Drive, Room 2B04, MSC 4403, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1855 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
4Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois College of Medicine, 1855 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
5Molecular Physiology Program, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA

Received 13 October 2010; Revised 11 January 2011; Accepted 25 January 2011

Academic Editor: Åke Lernmark

Copyright © 2011 Haohua Qian and Harris Ripps. 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.

Abstract

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most severe of the several ocular complications of diabetes, and in the United States it is the leading cause of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years of age. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of DR, there is a pressing need to develop novel therapeutic treatments that are both safe and efficacious. In the present paper, we identify a key mechanism involved in the development of the disease, namely, the interaction between neuronal and vascular activities. Numerous pathological conditions in the CNS have been linked to abnormalities in the relationship between these systems. We suggest that a similar situation arises in the diabetic retina, and we propose a logical strategy aimed at therapeutic intervention.