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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2006 May;29(5):570-8.

[Analogies between atherosclerosis and age-related maculopathy: expected roles of oxysterols].

[Article in French]

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Service d'Ophtalmologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Dijon.


The pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is not clearly understood. Like other age-related diseases, it is associated with abnormal deposits called drusen. These drusens are localized in Bruch's membrane. Recent investigations have shown a link between drusen formation and inflammatory and immunologic reactions. The involvement of oxidative stress is supported by available data as an important contributing factor in the developement of ARMD. The data regarding the nature and the source of the deposits suggest that ARMD may share similar pathways with atherosclerosis. The role of oxydized products of cholesterol, the oxysterols, in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is well known. As cholesterol is a constituent of drusens, oxysterols could be involved in retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptor lesions occurring in ARMD owing to their cytotoxic, pro-inflammatory, and pro-oxydant properties.

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