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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 582060, 16 pages
Review Article

Diabetic Retinopathy: Vascular and Inflammatory Disease

1Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
2Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy
3Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
4Department of Neuroscience, Reproductive Sciences and Dentistry, University of Naples, Italy
5ICRRS Neuromed, Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy

Received 11 December 2014; Revised 3 May 2015; Accepted 13 May 2015

Academic Editor: Harald Sourij

Copyright © 2015 F. Semeraro 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.


Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of visual impairment in the working-age population of the Western world. The pathogenesis of DR is complex and several vascular, inflammatory, and neuronal mechanisms are involved. Inflammation mediates structural and molecular alterations associated with DR. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the inflammatory pathways associated with DR are not completely characterized. Previous studies indicate that tissue hypoxia and dysregulation of immune responses associated with diabetes mellitus can induce increased expression of numerous vitreous mediators responsible for DR development. Thus, analysis of vitreous humor obtained from diabetic patients has made it possible to identify some of the mediators (cytokines, chemokines, and other factors) responsible for DR pathogenesis. Further studies are needed to better understand the relationship between inflammation and DR. Herein the main vitreous-related factors triggering the occurrence of retinal complication in diabetes are highlighted.