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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9702820, 15 pages
Review Article

Oxidative Stress-Related Mechanisms and Antioxidant Therapy in Diabetic Retinopathy

1The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130041, China
3General Hospital of the PLA Rocket Force, Beijing 100088, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yonggang Wang and Jian Sun

Received 14 October 2016; Revised 27 November 2016; Accepted 27 December 2016; Published 6 February 2017

Academic Editor: Yuhei Nishimura

Copyright © 2017 Cheng Li 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 one of the most common microvascular complications of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in young adults. Oxidative stress has been implicated as a critical cause of DR. Metabolic abnormalities induced by high-glucose levels are involved in the development of DR and appear to be influenced by oxidative stress. The imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the antioxidant defense system activates several oxidative stress-related mechanisms that promote the pathogenesis of DR. The damage caused by oxidative stress persists for a considerable time, even after the blood glucose concentration has returned to a normal level. Animal experiments have proved that the use of antioxidants is a beneficial therapeutic strategy for the treatment of DR, but more data are required from clinical trials. The aims of this review are to highlight the improvements to our understanding of the oxidative stress-related mechanisms underlying the development of DR and provide a summary of the main antioxidant therapy strategies used to treat the disease.