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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4270301, 8 pages
Review Article

The Adenosinergic System in Diabetic Retinopathy

1Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC), University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
2Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (III), University of Coimbra, 3030-789 Coimbra, Portugal
3CNC.IBILI, University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
4Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences (IBILI), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
5Association for Innovation and Biomedical Research on Light and Image (AIBILI), 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
6Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
7Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, 3000-456 Coimbra, Portugal

Received 10 November 2015; Accepted 29 December 2015

Academic Editor: Sarah Zhang

Copyright © 2016 J. Vindeirinho 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.


The neurodegenerative and inflammatory environment that is prevalent in the diabetic eye is a key player in the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy. The adenosinergic system is widely regarded as a significant modulator of neurotransmission and the inflammatory response, through the actions of the four types of adenosine receptors (A1R, A2AR, A2BR, and A3R), and thus could be revealed as a potential player in the events unfolding in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Herein, we review the studies that explore the impact of diabetic conditions on the retinal adenosinergic system, as well as the role of the said system in ameliorating or exacerbating those conditions. The experimental results described suggest that this system is heavily affected by diabetic conditions and that the modulation of its components could reveal potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, particularly in the early stages of the disease.