Lipids and diabetic retinopathy

Bobeck S. Modjtahedi, Namrata Bose, Thanos D. Papakostas, Lawrence S Morse, Demetrios G. Vavvas, Amar U. Kishan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The relationship between lipids and the development and/or severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is complex. Large epidemiologic studies suggest an inconsistent and overall modest association between serum triglycerides or major cholesterol species and the severity of DR; however, certain specific lipoprotein species may have stronger associations with DR severity, suggesting a pathophysiological role for lipoproteins analogous to that seen in atherosclerosis. In this lipoprotein-mediated DR pathogenesis model, damage to the blood-retinal barrier allows extravasation of lipoprotein species, which are modified in the intraretinal environment, creating substantial local damage. Additionally, hypolipidemic therapy with statins and fibrates - particularly the latter - have been shown to modulate DR in large-scale studies. Since serum lipid profile changes do not necessarily correlate with DR modulation, the efficacy of these agents may be due to their tissue-specific changes in lipoproteins and/or their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiangiogenic, and antiapoptotic functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-18
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Ophthalmology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016


  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Fibrates
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Lipoprotein
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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