We performed two studies to investigate the clinical roles of VEGF and HGF in diabetes mellitus. (1) Serum concentrations of VEGF and HGF were measured in type-2 diabetic patients (DM, n = 74) and control subjects (C, n = 44) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and their relationship to fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin Aic, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), liver function, systolic blood pressure, smoking, and diabetic angiopathy were analyzed. (2) VEGF and HGF concentrations were measured in both the serum and anterior aqueous humor of type-2 diabetic patients (n = 33) and non-diabetic patients (n = 12) who underwent eye surgery, and their correlations with diabetic retinopathy were determined. (1) There were no differences in serum VEGF between C and DM, but, serum VEGF was significantly higher in DM with diabetic angiopathy. Serum HGF was higher in DM and smokers, and inversely correlated with HDL-C and FPG. (2) Neither serum VEGF nor HGF were associated with retinopathy, but anterior aqueous humor VEGF was extremely higher and HGF tended to be higher in DM with preproliferative diabetic retinopathy. VEGF and HGF were not correlated in serum, but a positive correlation was observed in anterior aqueous humor. These results suggest that VEGF and HGF affect diabetic retinopathy, however, no relationship to diabetic macroangiopathy could be detected.
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