UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Understanding AMD by analogy: systematic review of lipid-related common pathogenic mechanisms in AMD, AD, AS and GN Xu, Qinyuan; Cao, Sijia; Rajapakse, Sanjeeva; Matsubara, Joanne A


Rationale: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness among the elderly. Due to its complex etiology, current treatments have been insufficient. Previous studies reveal three systems closely involved in AMD pathogenesis: lipid metabolism, oxidation and inflammation. These systems are also involved in Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and glomerulonephritis. Understanding commonalities of these four diseases may provide insight into AMD etiology. Objectives: To understand AMD pathogenesis by analogy and suggest ideas for future research, this study summarizes main commonalities in disease pathogenesis of AMD, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and glomerulonephritis. Methods: Articles were identified through PubMed, Ovid Medline and Google Scholar. We summarized the common findings and synthesized critical differences. Results: Oxidation, lipid deposition, complement activation, and macrophage recruitment are involved in all four diseases shown by genetic, molecular, animal and human studies. Shared genetic variations further strengthen their connection. Potential areas for future research are suggested throughout the review. Conclusions: The four diseases share many steps of an overall framework of pathogenesis. Various oxidative sources cause oxidative stress. Oxidized lipids and related molecules accumulate and lead to complement activation, macrophage recruitment and pathology. Investigations that arise under this structure may aid us to better understand AMD pathology.

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