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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008 May 14;286(1-2):112-22. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2007.12.009. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Physiology and pathology of somatostatin in the mammalian retina: a current view.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.


In the retina, peptidergic signalling participates in multiple circuits of visual information processing. The neuropeptide somatostatin (SRIF) is localised to amacrine cells and, in some instances, in a subset of ganglion cells. The variegated expression patterns of SRIF receptors (sst(1)-sst(5)) and the variety of signalling mechanisms activated by retinal SRIF suggest that this peptide may exert multiple actions on retinal neurons and on retinal physiology, although our current understanding reflects a rather complicated picture. SRIF, mostly through sst(2), may act as a positive factor in the retina by regulating retinal homeostasis and protecting neurons against damage. In this respect, SRIF analogues seem to constitute a promising therapeutic arsenal to cure different retinal diseases, as for instance, ischemic and diabetic retinopathies. However, further investigations are needed not only to fully understand the functional role of the SRIF system in the retina but also to exploit new chemical space for drug-like molecules.

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