Retinal capillaries: basement membrane thickening by galactosemia prevented with aldose reductase inhibitor

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Science  16 Sep 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4616, pp. 1177-1179
DOI: 10.1126/science.6612330


A twofold thickening of capillary basement membranes of rat retinas resulting from dietary galactose was prevented by sorbinil, an inhibitor of aldose reductase. Since the basement membrane thickening was ultrastructurally similar to that typical of diabetic retinopathy, it may indicate changes in vessel permeability and susceptibility to hemorrhage. Galactosemic rats should be useful models for studying basement membrane-related complications of diabetes and for examining the potential biochemical regulation of basement membrane synthesis by aldose reductase inhibitors.