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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013 Jul;45(7):1457-67. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.04.013. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of age-related macular degeneration: from impaired autophagy to neovascularization.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex, degenerative and progressive disease involving multiple genetic and environmental factors. It can result in severe visual loss e.g. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in the western countries. Although age, genetics, diet, smoking, and many cardiovascular factors are known to be linked with this disease there is increasing evidence that long-term oxidative stress, impaired autophagy clearance and inflammasome mediated inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis. Under certain conditions these may trigger detrimental processes e.g. release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), causing choroidal neovascularization e.g. in wet AMD. This review ties together these crucial pathological threads in AMD.

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