Angiopoietin-2 causes pericyte dropout in the normal retina: evidence for involvement in diabetic retinopathy

Hammes, HP; Lin, J; Wagner, P; Feng, Y; Vom Hagen, F; Krzizok, T; Renner, O; Breier, G; Brownlee, M; Deutsch, U (2004). Angiopoietin-2 causes pericyte dropout in the normal retina: evidence for involvement in diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes, 53(4), pp. 1104-10. Alexandria, Va.: American Diabetes Association 10.2337/diabetes.53.4.1104

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Pericyte loss is an early pathologic feature of diabetic retinopathy, consistently present in retinae of diabetic humans and animals. Because pericyte recruitment and endothelial cell survival are controlled, in part, by the angiopoietin/Tie2 ligand/receptor system, we studied the expression of angiopoietin-2 and -1 in relation to the evolution of pericyte loss in diabetic rat retinae, using quantitative retinal morphometry, and in retinae from mice with heterozygous angiopoietin deficiency (Ang-2 LacZ knock-in mice). Finally, recombinant angiopoietin-2 was injected into eyes of nondiabetic rats, and pericyte numbers were quantitated in retinal capillaries. Angiopoietin-1 protein was present in the normal maturing retina and was upregulated 2.5-fold in diabetic retinae over 3 months of diabetes. In contrast, angiopoietin-2 protein was consistently upregulated more than 30-fold in the retinae of diabetic rats, preceding the onset of pericyte loss. Heterozygous angiopoietin-2 deficiency completely prevented diabetes-induced pericyte loss and reduced the number of acellular capillary segments. Injection of angiopoietin-2 into the eyes of normal rats induced a dose-dependent pericyte loss. These data show that upregulation of angiopoietin-2 plays a critical role in the loss of pericytes in the diabetic retina.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Theodor Kocher Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Deutsch, Urban






American Diabetes Association




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:52

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:15

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URI: (FactScience: 32286)

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