Effects of SGLT2 Inhibition on Diabetic Retinopathy
Background and Hypothesis:
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a microvascular complication of diabetes, is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population, and its prevalence is increasing. New treatment modalities must be developed to slow the progression of DR. SGLT2 inhibition has shown promise in treating other diabetic complications; however, its effect on DR remains unknown, therefore, for this study, we hypothesize that SGLT2 inhibition will reduce the harmful effects of DR.
Diabetic (db/db) mice were fed 10 mg/kg of the SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin in their diet for 6 months, non-diabetic (db/m) mice on a regular diet served as controls. In parallel, human retinal endothelial cells (HREC) were used as in-vitro models and treated with dapagliflozin to assess glucose uptake via a 2-(N-(7-Nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)Amino)-2-Deoxyglucose (2-NBDG) assay.
Our studies show that db/db mice with dapagliflozin had significantly fewer acellular capillaries compared to untreated db/db mice. Furthermore, Dapagliflozin treatment at 1 and 10 µM concentrations of dapagliflozin yielded a significant decrease in glucose uptake compared to respective vehicle controls.
Our study shows that SGLT2 inhibition has a promise in treating DR by reducing acellular capillaries and retinal glucose transport suggesting the potential of dapagliflozin treatment in DR.
Copyright (c) 2021 Sameer Leley, Qianyi Luo, PhD, Ashay D. Bhatwadekar, PhD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.