Impact of SGLT2 Inhibitors on Corneal Nerve Morphology and Dendritic Cell Density in Type 2 Diabetes

Publication Name

Ocular Immunology and Inflammation


Purpose: This study aims to determine the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on corneal dendritic cell density and corneal nerve measures in type 2 diabetes. Methods: Corneal dendritic cell densities and nerve parameters were measured in people with type 2 diabetes treated with SGLT2 inhibitors (T2DM-SGLT2i) [n = 23] and those not treated with SGLT2 inhibitors (T2DM-no SGLT2i) [n = 23], along with 24 age and sex-matched healthy controls. Results: There was a reduction in all corneal nerve parameters in type 2 diabetes groups compared to healthy controls (All parameters: p < 0.05). No significant differences in corneal nerve parameters were observed between T2DM-SGLT2i and T2DM-no SGLT2i groups (All parameters: p > 0.05). Central corneal dendritic cells were significantly reduced [mature (p = 0.03), immature (p = 0.06) and total (p = 0.002)] in the T2DM-SGLT2i group compared to the T2DM-no SGLT2i group. Significantly, higher mature (p = 0.04), immature (p = 0.004), total (p = 0.002) dendritic cell densities in the T2DM-no SGLT2i group were observed compared to the healthy controls. In the inferior whorl, no significant difference in immature (p = 0.27) and total dendritic cell densities (p = 0.16) between T2DM-SGLT2i and T2DM-no SGLT2i were observed except mature dendritic cell density (p = 0.018). No differences in total dendritic cell density were observed in the central (p > 0.09) and inferior whorl (p = 0.88) between T2DM-SGLT2i and healthy controls. Conclusion: The present study showed a reduced dendritic cell density in people with type 2 diabetes taking SGLT2 inhibitors compared to those not taking these medications.

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