Liver X receptor modulates diabetic retinopathy outcome in a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes

Sugata Hazra, Adil Rasheed, Ashay Bhatwadekar, Xiaoxin Wang, Lynn C. Shaw, Monika Patel, Sergio Caballero, Lilia Magomedova, Nathaniel Solis, Yuanqing Yan, Weidong Wang, Jeffrey S. Thinschmidt, Amrisha Verma, Qiuhong Li, Moshe Levi, Carolyn L. Cummins, Maria B. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations


Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), critical for mediating vascular repair, are dysfunctional in a hyperglycemic and/or hypercholesterolemic environment. Their dysfunction contributes to the progression of diabetic macro- and microvascular complications. Activation of "cholesterol-sensing" nuclear receptors, the liver X receptors (LXRα/LXRβ), protects against atherosclerosis by transcriptional regulation of genes important in promoting cholesterol efflux and inhibiting inflammation. We hypothesized that LXR activation with a synthetic ligand would correct diabetesinduced EPC dysfunction and improve diabetic retinopathy. Studies were performed in streptozotocin (STZ)-injected DBA/2J mice fed a high-fat Western diet (DBA/STZ/WD) and treated with the LXR agonist GW3965 and in LXRα -/-, LXRβ-/-, and LXRα/β-/- mice. Retinas were evaluated for number of acellular capillaries and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactivity. Bone marrow EPCs were analyzed for migratory function and gene expression. Compared with vehicle-treated DBA/STZ/WD mice, GW3965 treated mice showed fewer acellular capillaries and reduced GFAP expression. These mice also exhibited enhanced EPC migration and restoration of inflammatory and oxidative stress genes toward nondiabetic levels. LXRα-/-, LXRβ-/-, and LXRα/β-/- mice developed acellular capillaries and EPC dysfunction similar to the DBA/STZ/WD mice. These studies support a key role for LXR in retinal and bone marrow progenitor dysfunction associated with type 1 diabetes. LXR agonists may represent promising pharmacologic targets for correcting retinopathy and EPC dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3270-3279
Number of pages10
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Hazra, S., Rasheed, A., Bhatwadekar, A., Wang, X., Shaw, L. C., Patel, M., Caballero, S., Magomedova, L., Solis, N., Yan, Y., Wang, W., Thinschmidt, J. S., Verma, A., Li, Q., Levi, M., Cummins, C. L., & Grant, M. B. (2012). Liver X receptor modulates diabetic retinopathy outcome in a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Diabetes, 61(12), 3270-3279.