Jannah Hassan

Major: Neuroscience B.S.
Purdue School of Science
Supervisor: Dr. Ashay D Bhatwadekar
Department: Department of Ophthalmology, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine

Therapeutic Potential of Senolytics in the Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of the eye due to long-standing diabetes, affecting 131.66 million people worldwide. DR is characterized by damage to the tiny blood vessels supplying blood to the eye; in some instances, blood vessels of the eye grow new vessels, and this form of DR could be more severe and lead to permanent vision loss. The disease mechanism of DR is complex, and developing newer treatments are of considerable interest. Senescence is a biological deterioration of functional characteristics, a normal process observed in aging. However, in conditions such as diabetes, this senescence mechanism is hampered, resulting in the accumulation of senescent cells in the body. These senescent cells increase overall inflammation in the body and could contribute to DR. During my LHSI internship, I performed a literature review for senescence mechanisms in DR. Senolytic is a type of medicine that selectively clears out senescent cells, thus holding a significant promise in DR treatment and prevention. Additionally, I also performed a systemic review of the literature to explore the potential therapeutic role of senolytics in the treatment of DR.