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PLOS ONE  2013 

Neonatal Hyperglycemia Inhibits Angiogenesis and Induces Inflammation and Neuronal Degeneration in the Retina

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079545

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Recent evidence suggests that transient hyperglycemia in extremely low birth weight infants is strongly associated with the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We propose a new model of Neonatal Hyperglycemia-induced Retinopathy (NHIR) that mimics many aspects of retinopathy of prematurity. Hyperglycemia was induced in newborn rat pups by injection of streptozocine (STZ) at post natal day one (P1). At various time points, animals were assessed for vascular abnormalities, neuronal cell death and accumulation and activation of microglial cells. We here report that streptozotocin induced a rapid and sustained increase of glycemia from P2/3 to P6 without affecting rat pups gain weight or necessitating insulin treatment. Retinal vascular area was significantly reduced in P6 hyperglycemic animals compared to control animals. Hyperglycemia was associated with (i) CCL2 chemokine induction at P6, (ii) a significant recruitment of inflammatory macrophages and an increase in total number of Iba+ macrophages/microglia cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL), and (iii) excessive apoptosis in the INL. NHIR thereby reproduces several aspects of ischemic retinopathies, including ROP and diabetic retinopathies, and might be a useful model to decipher hyperglycemia-induced cellular and molecular mechanisms in the small rodent.


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