Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breakthrough in understanding macular degeneration

Date:
April 26, 2012
Source:
University of Kentucky
Summary:
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding the "dry" form of age-related macular degeneration known as geographic atrophy.

University of Kentucky researchers, led by Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, have made a major breakthrough in the "dry" form of age-related macular degeneration known as geographic atrophy (GA). GA is an untreatable condition that causes blindness in millions of individuals due to death of retinal pigmented epithelial cells.

Related Articles


Ambati, professor of physiology, and professor and vice chair of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UK, is a leader in the field of macular degeneration research. Previous research from the Ambati laboratory published in the journal Nature showed that in human eyes with geographic atrophy there is a deficiency of the enzyme DICER1, leading to accumulation of toxic Alu RNA molecules in the retinal pigmented epithelium.

The Cell paper shows that when these RNAs build up in the eye they trigger activation of an immune complex known as the NLRP3 inflammasome. In turn, this leads to the production of a molecule known as IL-18, which causes death of retinal pigmented epithelial cells and vision loss by activating a critical protein known as MyD88.

Importantly, Ambati and colleagues found evidence that activity of the inflammasome, IL-18, and MyD88 were all increased in human eyes with GA. They then showed that blocking any of these components could prevent retinal degeneration in multiple disease models. The researchers are excited that blocking these pathways could herald a new potential therapy for GA, for which there is no approved treatment.

Ambati is working with iVeena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Salt Lake City to commercialize therapies for geographic atrophy.

This research was supported by the National Eye Institute, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and Research to Prevent Blindness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kentucky. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Valeria Tarallo, Yoshio Hirano, Bradley D. Gelfand, Sami Dridi, Nagaraj Kerur, Younghee Kim, Won Gil Cho, Hiroki Kaneko, Benjamin J. Fowler, Sasha Bogdanovich, Romulo J.C. Albuquerque, William W. Hauswirth, Vince A. Chiodo, Jennifer F. Kugel, James A. Goodrich, Steven L. Ponicsan, Gautam Chaudhuri, Michael P. Murphy, Joshua L. Dunaief, Balamurali K. Ambati, Yuichiro Ogura, Jae Wook Yoo, Dong-ki Lee, Patrick Provost, David R. Hinton, Gabriel Núñez, Judit Z. Baffi, Mark E. Kleinman, Jayakrishna Ambati. DICER1 Loss and Alu RNA Induce Age-Related Macular Degeneration via the NLRP3 Inflammasome and MyD88. Cell, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.036

Cite This Page:

University of Kentucky. "Breakthrough in understanding macular degeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426135400.htm>.
University of Kentucky. (2012, April 26). Breakthrough in understanding macular degeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426135400.htm
University of Kentucky. "Breakthrough in understanding macular degeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120426135400.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins