Vascular leakage stimulates phenotype alteration in ocular cells, contributing to the pathology of proliferative vitreoretinopathy

Med Hypotheses. 1998 Feb;50(2):113-7. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(98)90195-5.


Plasma leaking from damaged retinal blood vessels can have a significant impact on the pathologies of the posterior segment of the eye. Inflammation in the eye and metabolic change resulting from diabetes mellitus causes vascular leakage with alteration of the phenotype of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and fibrocytes, resulting in changes in cell function. Phenotypically altered cells then significantly contribute to the pathogenesis of retinopathies by being incorporated into tractional membranes in the vitreous, where they secrete matrix molecules, such as fibronectin, and express altered cell surface antigens. We hypothesize that there is a direct relationship between the leaking of plasma and the proliferation and phenotypic change of RPE cells and fibroblasts, thus exacerbating the pathology of retinal disease. If the hypothesis is correct, control of vascular leakage becomes an important target of therapy in proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / pathology
  • Cell Division
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / therapy
  • Edema / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Phenotype
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / pathology
  • Plasma / physiology
  • Vitreoretinopathy, Proliferative / etiology*
  • Vitreoretinopathy, Proliferative / pathology*
  • Vitreoretinopathy, Proliferative / therapy