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In diabetic retinopathy (DR), neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) and kallikrein-kinin system are considered as contributing factors. However, the detail activation mechanisms has not been fully understood. Since the NET could provide negative-charged surface for factor XII activation and the activated factor XII (XIIa) can initiate kallikrein-kinin system, this study investigated whether patients with DR show activation of NET, factor XII and kallikrein-kinin system. The markers related to NET (DNA-histone complex) and kallikrein-kinin system (high-molecular-weight kininogen, prekallikrein, bradykinin) and factor XIIa were measured in 253 patients with diabetes. To access ex vivo effect of glucose, DNA-histone complex and factor XIIa were measured in whole blood stimulated by glucose. The circulating level of DNA-histone complex and factor XIIa were significantly higher in patients with DR than those without DR. In logistic regression analysis, DNA-histone complex, factor XIIa, and high-molecular-weight kininogen were the risk factors of DR. In recursive partitioning analysis, among patients with diabetes duration less than 10 years, patients with high level of DNA-histone complex (>426 AU) showed high risk of DR. In ex vivo experiment, glucose significantly elevated both DNA-histone complex and factor XIIa. Our findings suggest that activation of factor XII and kallikrein-kinin system combined with NET formation actively occur in patients with DR and circulating levels of DNA-histone complex, factor XIIa and HMWK can be potential biomarkers to estimate the risk of DR. Strategies against factor XII activation may be beneficial to inhibit DR. Thieme. All rights reserved.


Da Young Song, Ja-Yoon Gu, Hyun Ju Yoo, Young Il Kim, Il Sung Nam-Goong, Eun Sook Kim, Hyun Kyung Kim. Activation of Factor XII and Kallikrein-Kinin System Combined with Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation in Diabetic Retinopathy. Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes : official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association. 2021 Aug;129(8):560-565

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PMID: 31426112

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