BACKGROUND: Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is the commonest cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. Laser photocoagulation can be effective in the treatment of DMO; however, its mechanism of action is still poorly understood. A better understanding of these mechanisms may allow the development of therapeutic approaches that could avoid the deleterious adverse events associated with photocoagulation.
METHODS: We have used proteomic techniques to identify the protein changes induced by threshold intensity retinal laser treatment in a rodent model of diabetic retinopathy. Retinae were obtained from diabetic Dark Agouti rats 8 weeks following laser treatment. Extracted proteins from lasered and non-lasered diabetic retinae were separated and compared using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.
RESULTS: Image analysis revealed 24 protein spots with decreased expression after laser treatment and 9 spots with increased expression. On lasered retinal gels, four spots were uniquely expressed, with eight unique spots on non-lasered gels. Twenty-two protein spots of interest were identified using matrix-assisted desorption ionization-mass spectrometry with database matching. Following laser, Wnt-5 beta, LEK-1, GADPH, claudin-12 and calretinin were significantly down-regulated in expression.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study provides a proteomic insight into the underlying biological basis for the therapeutic effects of laser for DMO. We provide further evidence of the involvement of Wnt pathway signalling in the neural retina in DMO, and for up to 2 months following laser treatment. Changes in LEK-1 and claudin-12 may have effector roles, and changes in glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and calretinin may reflect the altered retinal microenvironment resulting from laser treatment.
- Diabetic macular oedema
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Laser photocoagulation
- Wnt-signalling pathway