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CCR2-positive monocytes contribute to the pathogenesis of early diabetic retinopathy in mice – published online 26/01/2023

Graphical abstract for Sadaane article

Aicha Saadane, Alexander A. Veenstra, Martin S. Minns, Jie Tang, Yunpeng Du, Fatima Abubakr Elghazali, Emma M. Lessieur, Eric Pearlman, Timothy S. Kern

Inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the early stages of diabetic retinopathy but the molecular mechanisms are unclear. In this issue, Saadane et al ( 10.1007/s00125-022-05860-w) that deletion of CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2)-positive cells (largely monocytes) in a mouse model of diabetes or generation of chimeric mice lacking Ccr2 only from myeloid cells significantly inhibited the diabetes-induced increase in retinal capillary degeneration. The authors highlight how these results in monocytes reflect previous studies that have shown that neutrophils have direct cytotoxic effects on retinal endothelial cells, thus providing at least one mechanism by which leucocytes contribute to diabetes-induced vascular damage in diabetes. They conclude that abnormalities in multiple cell types in the innate immune system contribute to the development of the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, providing potential therapeutic targets for inhibiting retinopathy.

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