Diabetes-induced visual dysfunction is associated with significant neuroretinal cell death. The current study was designed to investigate the role of the Protein Regulated in Development and DNA Damage Response 1 (REDD1) in diabetes-induced retinal cell death and visual dysfunction. We recently demonstrated that REDD1 protein expression was elevated in response to hyperglycemia in the retina of diabetic rodents. REDD1 is an important regulator of Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin and as such plays a key role in neuronal function and survival. In R28 retinal cells in culture, hyperglycemic conditions enhanced REDD1 protein expression concomitant with caspase activation and cell death. By contrast, in REDD1-deficient R28 cells, neither hyperglycemic conditions nor the absence of insulin in culture medium were sufficient to promote cell death. In the retinas of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, retinal apoptosis was dramatically elevated compared with nondiabetic controls, whereas no difference was observed in diabetic and nondiabetic REDD1-deficient mice. Electroretinogram abnormalities observed in b-wave and oscillatory potentials of diabetic wild-type mice were also absent in REDD1-deficient mice. Moreover, diabetic wild-type mice exhibited functional deficiencies in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity, whereas diabetic REDD1-deficient mice had no visual dysfunction. The results support a role for REDD1 in diabetes-induced retinal neurodegeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism