Endoplasmic reticulum stress is closely involved in the early stage of diabetic retinopathy. In the present study, a streptozotocin-induced diabetic animal model was given an intraperitoneal injection of tauroursodeoxycholic acid. Results from immunofluorescent co-localization experiments showed that both caspase-12 protein and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 phosphorylation levels significantly in-creased, which was associated with retinal ganglion cell death in diabetic retinas. The C/ERB mologous protein pathway directly contributed to glial reactivity, and was subsequently responsible for neuronal loss and vascular abnormalities in diabetic retinopathy. Our experimental findings dicate that endoplasmic reticulum stress plays an important role in diabetes-induced retinal neu-ronal loss and vascular abnormalities, and that inhibiting the activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway provides effective protection against diabetic retinopathy.
Keywords: C/ERB homologous protein; Müller cells; astrocytes; c-Jun N-terminal kinase; caspase-12 protein; diabetic retinopathy; endoplasmic reticulum stress; glial fibrillary acidic protein; grant-supported paper; injury of retinal ganglion cells; neural regeneration; neuroregeneration; peripheral nerve injury; retinal microcirculation.