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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 3420187, 12 pages
Review Article

The Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction during the Pathogenesis of Diabetic Retinopathy

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei 231, Taiwan
2Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 970, Taiwan
3Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, New Taipei 231, Taiwan
4Research Assistant Center, Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, Chang Bing Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua 505, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Tzu-Ting Lai; moc.liamg@2040dnimtseb and Chia-Jung Li; moc.liamg@1676legin

Received 1 March 2018; Revised 27 June 2018; Accepted 14 August 2018; Published 5 September 2018

Academic Editor: Joanna Lecka

Copyright © 2018 Meng-Yu Wu 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 is one of the most serious microvascular complications induced by hyperglycemia via five major pathways, including polyol, hexosamine, protein kinase C, and angiotensin II pathways and the accumulation of advanced glycation end products. The hyperglycemia-induced overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induces local inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, microvascular dysfunction, and cell apoptosis. The accumulation of ROS, local inflammation, and cell death are tightly linked and considerably affect all phases of diabetic retinopathy pathogenesis. Furthermore, microvascular dysfunction induces ischemia and local inflammation, leading to neovascularization, macular edema, and neurodysfunction, ultimately leading to long-term blindness. Therefore, it is crucial to understand and elucidate the detailed mechanisms underlying the development of diabetic retinopathy. In this review, we summarized the existing knowledge about the pathogenesis and current strategies for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, and we believe this systematization will help and support further research in this area.