School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is well established as the main agent responsible for vascular leakage and angiogenesis in the diabetic retina. While VEGF can have positive effects on hyperglycemia stressed retinal tissues, it also plays a role in events progressing to the oxygen- stressed, i.e. hypoxic, diabetic retina. Some VEGF makes its way to the retina from systemic sources and some is produced locally within the eye. Hyperglycemia, oxidants, inflammation, and advanced glycation end-products are all stimulants to VEGF production, both in the hypoxic and the pre-hypoxic retina. Endothelial cells, pericytes, Müller cells, microglia, astrocytes, retinal pigment epithelium and neurons have all been known to produce VEGF at some point in retinal development or in disease. Excessive VEGF production in the early diabetic retina can lead to retinal exposure or mechanisms which exacerbate further damage. While Müller cells are likely the most significant producer of VEGF in the pre-hypoxic retina, other VEGF producing cells may also play a role due to their proximity to vessels or neurons. Study of the release of VEGF by retinal cells in hyperglycemia conditions, may help identify targets for early treatment and prevent the serious consequences of diabetic retinopathy.


There is no embargo on the archiving of articles published under the OPEN ACCESS PLUS category. Authors are allowed deposition of such articles on institutional, non-commercial repositories and personal websites immediately after publication on the journal website. This is done under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License CC-BY 4.0.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Title

Current Diabetes Reviews



Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department

Molecular Science



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.