Research project

Molecular and functional effects of methylglyoxal on human microvascular retinal cells (DSB.AD003.056)

Thematic area

Biomedical sciences

Project area

Endocrino-Metabolica (DSB.AD003)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute of genetics and biophysics "Adriano Buzzati Traverso" (IGB)

Other structures collaborating in the research project

Project manager

Phone number: 0816132259


"Molecular and functional effects of methylglyoxal on human microvascular retinal cells". Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a leading cause of blindness commonly affecting diabetic patients with variable severity. One of the earliest events occurring in diabetic retinas is hyperglycemia-induced functional impairment of microvascular cells (pericytes and endothelial cells). Although oxidative stress and the activation of inflammatory pathways have been reported as key contributors to DR pathogenesis, the molecular mechanisms underlying DR remain to be elucidated. In addition, alterations in the methylation status of DNA, chemical modifications of histones and the activity of regulatory non-coding RNAs have been proposed as pathogenic in DR. A pathogenic role of methylglyoxal (MG) as mediator of hyperglycemia-induced alterations and metabolic memory (i.e. persistence of hyperglycemia induced damage even after glycemic normalization) has been proposed in macrovascular endothelial cells, but its effects on human retinal microvascular cells have not been clarified.

Start date of activity



Diabetic retinopathy, glucotoxicity, metabolic memory

Last update: 23/07/2024