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Early changes in retinal structure and BMP2 expression in the retina and crystalline lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic pigs



This study aims to evaluate early changes in retinal structure and BMP2 expression in the retina and crystalline lens by comparing streptozotocin-induced diabetic pigs and normal control group pigs.


Five eye samples from five diabetic Micro-pigs (Medikinetics, Pyeongtaek, Korea) and five eye samples from five control pigs bred in a specific pathogen-free area were used. Diabetes was developed through intravenous injection of nicotinamide and streptozotocin, and the average fasting glucose level was maintained at 250 mg/dL or higher for 16 weeks. To evaluate BMP2 expression in the retina and crystalline lens, Western blotting was performed.


In Hematoxylin and Eosin staining, most diabetic pigs showed structural abnormalities in the inner plexiform layer. The number of nuclei in the ganglion cell layer within the range of 104 μm2 was 3.78±0.60 for diabetic pigs and 5.57±1.07 for control group pigs, showing a statistically significant difference. In immunohistochemical staining, diabetic retinas showed an overall increase in BMP2 expression. In Western blotting, the average BMP2/actin level of diabetic retinas was 1.19±0.05, showing a significant increase compared to the 1.06±0.03 of the control group retinas (P=0.016). The BMP2/actin level of diabetic crystalline lenses was similar to the control group crystalline lenses (P=0.730).


Compared to control group pigs, the number of nuclei in the inner nuclear layer of retinas from streptozotocin-induced diabetic pigs decreased, while an increase in BMP2 expression was observed in the retina of diabetic pigs.


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Correspondence to Yeon Sung Moon or Na Rae Kim.

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Jeong, J.S., Lee, WK., Moon, Y.S. et al. Early changes in retinal structure and BMP2 expression in the retina and crystalline lens of streptozotocin-induced diabetic pigs. Lab Anim Res 33, 216–222 (2017).

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  • BMP2
  • diabetes mellitus
  • lens
  • pigs
  • retina
  • streptozotocin