Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the serum levels of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), soluble vascular endothelial tyrosine kinase receptor (Tie-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in the serum of type 2 diabetic patients having non-proliferative (NPDR) or proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).

Methods: One hundred patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were involved in this cross-sectional study. They were classified into 25 diabetic patients without retinopathy, 35 patients with NPDR and 40 PDR patients. The study was carried out in the outpatients clinic of the Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Giza, Egypt from August 2016 through May 2017. Serum VEGF, Ang-1, Ang-2 and Tie-2 receptor levels were assayed using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were analyzed by SPSS version 20 and Microsoft Excel (Version 10) using ANOVA, Harman's single factor test, and Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation. 

Results: The serum levels of Ang-2 and VEGF were significantly elevated in NPDR groups and PDR group compared to diabetics without retinopathy groups (p<0.001). The serum levels of Ang-1 were significantly higher in the NPDR group compared to the diabetics without retinopathy groups (p<0.01), while no significant difference was observed between the PDR and diabetics without retinopathy groups. Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio was the lowest in the PDR group compared to the NPDR and diabetics without retinopathy groups. The serum levels of Tie-2 were not significantly changed among the three studied groups, serum Ang-2 was positively correlated with VEGF and Tie-2 in the PDR and NPDR groups.

Conclusion: The angiopoietin /Tie system and VEGF are essential features in the commencement and development of PDR.


Keywords: Angiopoietins, Tie-2 receptor, Diabetic Retinopathy
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