Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of visual impairment in the elderly. There are very limited therapeutic options for AMD with the predominant therapies targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina of patients afflicted with wet AMD. Hence, it is important to remind readers, especially those interested in AMD, about current studies that may help to develop novel therapies for other stages of AMD. This study, therefore, provides a comprehensive review of studies on human specimens as well as rodent models of the disease, to identify and analyze the molecular mechanisms behind AMD development and progression. The evaluation of this information highlights the central role that oxidative damage in the retina plays in contributing to major pathways, including inflammation and angiogenesis, found in the AMD phenotype. Following on the debate of oxidative stress as the earliest injury in the AMD pathogenesis, we demonstrated how the targeting of oxidative stress-associated pathways, such as autophagy and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling, might be the futuristic direction to explore in the search of an effective treatment for AMD, as the dysregulation of these mechanisms is crucial to oxidative injury in the retina. In addition, animal models of AMD have been discussed in great detail, with their strengths and pitfalls included, to assist inform in the selection of suitable models for investigating any of the molecular mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology