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Journal of Diabetes ResearchVolume 2013 2013, Article ID 106594, 29 pages

Review Article

Department of Ophthalmology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Research Center of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 10 January 2013; Revised 2 September 2013; Accepted 2 September 2013

Academic Editor: Bernard Portha

Copyright © 2013 Angela Ka Wai Lai and Amy C. Y. Lo. 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 a microvascular complication associated with chronic exposure to hyperglycemia and is a major cause of blindness worldwide. Although clinical assessment and retinal autopsy of diabetic patients provide information on the features and progression of DR, its underlying pathophysiological mechanism cannot be deduced. In order to have a better understanding of the development of DR at the molecular and cellular levels, a variety of animal models have been developed. They include pharmacological induction of hyperglycemia and spontaneous diabetic rodents as well as models of angiogenesis without diabetes to compensate for the absence of proliferative DR symptoms. In this review, we summarize the existing protocols to induce diabetes using STZ. We also describe and compare the pathological presentations, in both morphological and functional aspects, of the currently available DR animal models. The advantages and disadvantages of using different animals, ranging from zebrafish, rodents to other higher-order mammals, are also discussed. Until now, there is no single model that displays all the clinical features of DR as seen in human. Yet, with the understanding of the pathological findings in these animal models, researchers can select the most suitable models for mechanistic studies or drug screening.

Autor: Angela Ka Wai Lai and Amy C. Y. Lo



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