Circulating anti-pericyte autoantibodies are present in Type 2 diabetic patients and are associated with non-proliferative retinopathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims/Hypothesis. This study aims to determine the prevalence of anti-pericyte autoantibodies in Type 2 diabetes and to characterize these autoantibodies as new markers of disease activity in diabetic retinopathy. Methods. A total of 299 patients with Type 2 diabetes participated in this study. Retinopathy was assessed by 7-field stereo fundus photography and was graded according to the ETDRS scale. Serum anti-pericyte autoantibodies were detected by immunofluorescence on tissue cultured bovine retinal pericytes. Results. The prevalence of anti-pericyte autoantibodies in Type 2 diabetic patients was 54% and was approximately equal in men and women. The prevalence was approximately 55% with retinopathy at grades from 10 to 53. At grades above 53 the prevalence declined to 23% (p<0.0001). The highest prevalence by duration of diabetes, 70%, was found at 0 to 5 years and the lowest, 25% at more than 25 years duration (p<0.0001). Conclusion/interpretation. Anti-pericyte autoantibodies are present at high prevalence in Type 2 diabetes. Their presence during earlier stages of retinopathy could be due to a reaction with antigens expressed by "activated" pericytes. The decline in antibody prevalence in advanced retinopathy could mark pericyte loss and progression to an angiogenic retinal milieu.


  • RC Nayak
  • Carl-David Agardh
  • MGK Kwok
  • Håkan Stjernquist
  • PJ Farthing-Nayak
  • Elisabet Agardh
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • capillaries, retinal diseases, autommunity, diabetic retinopathy, pericytes, diabetes mellitus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-513
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Reconstructive Surgery (013240300), Ophthalmology (013242810), Unit on Vascular Diabetic Complications (013241510)