Adeno-Associated Virus Overexpression of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-2 Reverses Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetes in Mice

James M. Dominguez, Ping Hu, Sergio Caballero, Leni Moldovan, Amrisha Verma, Gavin Y. Oudit, Qiuhong Li, Maria B. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2 is the primary enzyme of the vasoprotective axis of the renin angiotensin system that regulates the classic renin angiotensin system axis. We aimed to determine whether local retinal overexpression of adenoassociated virus (AAV)-ACE2 prevents or reverses diabetic retinopathy. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-chimeric mice were generated to distinguish resident (retinal) from infiltrating bone marrow-derived inflammatory cells and were made diabetic using streptozotocin injections. Retinal digestion using trypsin was performed and acellular capillaries enumerated. Capillary occlusion by GFP+ cells was used to measure leukostasis. Overexpression of ACE2 prevented (prevention cohort: untreated diabetic, 11.3 ± 1.4; ACE2 diabetic, 6.4 ± 0.9 per mm2) and partially reversed (reversal cohort: untreated diabetic, 15.7 ± 1.9; ACE2 diabetic, 6.5 ± 1.2 per mm2) the diabetes-associated increase of acellular capillaries and the increase of infiltrating inflammatory cells into the retina (F4/80+) (prevention cohort: untreated diabetic, 24.2 ± 6.7; ACE2 diabetic, 2.5 ± 1.6 per mm2; reversal cohort: untreated diabetic, 56.8 ± 5.2; ACE2 diabetic, 5.6 ± 2.3 per mm2). In both study cohorts, intracapillary bone marrow-derived cells, indicative of leukostasis, were only observed in diabetic animals receiving control AAV injections. These results indicate that diabetic retinopathy, and possibly other diabetic microvascular complications, can be prevented and reversed by locally restoring the balance between the classic and vasoprotective renin angiotensin system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1700
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Adeno-Associated Virus Overexpression of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-2 Reverses Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetes in Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this