Role of endothelial ADAM17 in early vascular changes associated with diabetic retinopathy

Lamiaa Shalaby, Menaka Thounaojam, Amany Tawfik, Junnan Li, Khaled Hussein, Wan Jin Jahng, Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, Hang Fai Kwok, Manuela Bartoli, Diana Raisovna Gutsaeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


ADAM17, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17, is a transmembrane metalloproteinase that regulates bioavailability of multiple membrane-bound proteins via ectodomain shedding. ADAM17 activity was shown to contribute to a number of vascular pathologies, but its role in the context of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is not determined. We found that expression and enzymatic activity of ADAM17 are upregulated in human diabetic postmortem retinas and a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes. To further investigate the contribution of ADAM17 to vascular alterations associated with DR, we used human retinal endothelial cells (HREC) treated with ADAM17 neutralizing antibodies and exposed to glucidic stress and streptozotocin-induced endothelial ADAM17 knockout mice. Evaluation of vascular permeability, vascular inflammation, and oxidative stress was performed. Loss of ADAM17 in endothelial cells markedly reduced oxidative stress evidenced by decreased levels of superoxide, 3-nitrotyrosine, and 4-hydroxynonenal and decreased leukocyte-endothelium adhesive interactions in vivo and in vitro. Reduced leukostasis was associated with decreased vascular permeability and was accompanied by downregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression. Reduction in oxidative stress in HREC was associated with downregulation of NAD(P)H oxidase 4 (Nox4) expression. Our data suggest a role for endothelial ADAM17 in DR pathogenesis and identify ADAM17 as a potential new therapeutic target for DR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number400
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Endothelial cells
  • Vascular inflammation
  • Vascular permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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