Savefor later Page saved! You can go back to this later in your Diabetes and Me Close

Repairing cell batteries to protect eyes

Project summary

Mitochondria are important in powering our cells. Mitochondria that don’t work properly are usually replaced by new ones. But in diabetes this system doesn’t work properly and this can lead to sight loss. Dr Romero is working to understand how this happens and whether a new treatment to help mitochondria could stop eye damage. 

Background to research

Our body cells need lots of energy to keep working. This energy is produced by mitochondria which act like a cells’ battery. If mitochondria stop working, they’re usually quickly removed and quickly replaced by new ones. 

Scientists have found that diabetes increases the number of damaged mitochondria and also makes them harder to mend. These faulty mitochondria can build-up in the cell and can cause health problems. One of these problems is damage to the eye, known as diabetic retinopathy. 

Dr Romero has studied mitochondria in mice with diabetes. He’s found evidence that a new medicine may help their cells to repair mitochondria, improve their eyesight and help them live longer. He now wants to understand how this treatment works.  

Research aims

Dr Romero wants to understand how this treatment works and investigate if repairing mitochondria has the potential to help prevent sight loss in people living with diabetes.   

To do this, he will treat mice with the new medicine and study the health of their eyes. He will also use human cells grown in the lab to check the treatment works the same way in human cells. This will help researchers to redevelop the treatment for people with diabetes.   

Dr Romero will also investigate if helping the body repair its mitochondria early on in diabetes can help to stop damage to the eyes.

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of sight loss in the world. We urgently need new and better treatments that prevent this devastating complication.  

This research will provide a better understanding of what goes wrong with mitochondria in diabetes eye problems. In the future, this may lead to new treatments for people with diabetes that could be given earlier on and prevent sight loss. 

Back to Top
Brand Icons/Telephonecheck - FontAwesomeicons/tickicons/uk