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J Lipids. 2011;2011:802059. doi: 10.1155/2011/802059. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Lipids, lipoproteins, and age-related macular degeneration.

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Retina Division, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. While excellent treatment has emerged for neovascular disease, treatment for early AMD is lacking due to an incomplete understanding of the early molecular events. A prominent age-related change is the accumulation of neutral lipid in normal Bruch's membrane (BrM) throughout adulthood and also disease-related BrM accumulations called basal deposits and drusen. AMD lesion formation has thus been conceptualized as sharing mechanisms with atherosclerotic plaque formation, where low-density lipoprotein (LDL) retention within the arterial wall initiates a cascade of pathologic events. However, we do not yet understand how lipoproteins contribute to AMD. This paper explores how systemic and local production of lipoproteins might contribute to the pathogenesis of AMD.

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