Cell-based therapies for diabetic retinopathy

Lynn C. Shaw, Matthew B. Neu, Maria B. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations


Autologous endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) populations represent a novel treatment for therapeutic revascularization and vascular repair for diabetic patients with complications including diabetic retinopathy. Current therapies are applicable to late-stage disease and carry significant side effects, whereas cell-based therapy may provide an alternative by repairing areas of vasodegeneration and reversing ischemia. However, EPCs from diabetic patients with vascular complications are dysfunctional. Moreover, the diabetic environment poses its own challenges and complicates the use of autologous EPCs. Before EPCs become the ideal "cell therapy," the optimal EPC must be determined, any functional dysfunction must be corrected prior to use, and the diabetic milieu will require modification to accept the EPCs. This review describes the rationale for harnessing the vascular reparative properties of EPCs with emphasis on the molecular and phenotypic nature of healthy EPCs, how diabetes alters them, and novel strategies to improve dysfunctional EPCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011


  • Circulating angiogenic cells
  • Circulating endothelial cells
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Endothelial progenitor cell
  • Outgrowth endothelial cell
  • Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
  • Stem cell therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cell-based therapies for diabetic retinopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this