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Eur Cytokine Netw. 2013 Mar;24(1):27-36. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2013.0334.

Contribution of TNF-α to the development of retinal neurodegenerative disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Mansoura, Egypt.

Abstract

During the late 1970s, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) was initially recognized as an endotoxin-induced substance that was mainly produced by macrophages, and able to cause the lysis of certain tumor cells. Subsequent research demonstrated that TNF-α mediates a broad range of cellular activities, including proliferation, survival, differentiation and apoptosis. It is also considered to be essential for the induction and maintenance of the inflammatory immune responses. Meanwhile, visual impairment imposes a substantial disease burden on society. It is associated with both significant economic impact and reduction in quality of life. Visual impairment raises serious social challenges for both patients and their families, interfering with day-to-day life, and can limit employment possibilities. Many of the most common, irreversible blinding pathologies involve neuronal loss from the retina, which is the light-sensing tissue of the eye. The retina, being part of the central nervous system, is unable to regenerate neurons lost to disease. Therefore, in the current review we will discuss the association between increased expression of TNF-α with neurodegenerative disorders, downstream cellular signaling mechanisms following interaction of TNF-α with its receptors, and the role of TNF-α as a possible target in the treatment of retinal neurodegenerative disorders.

KEYWORDS:

TNF-α; age-related macular degeneration; glaucoma; ischemic retinopathy; neurodegenerative disorders; retinitis pigmentosa

PMID:
23608634
DOI:
10.1684/ecn.2013.0334
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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