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Apr 5, 2019

A Potential New Way to Treat Some of the Most Common Blinding Diseases

Inhibition of atypical kinase C may help manage macular edema and vision loss associated with eye diseases

Many eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, exhibit increased permeability of blood vessels in the retina.

These leaky vessels in the central part of the eye can lead to abnormal fluid accumulation and vision loss. Eye injections targeting a specific cytokine, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), have transformed care for these diseases; however, not all patients respond well.

Research by University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center shows that inhibiting a specific molecule, atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), either genetically or pharmacologically, reduces increased vessel permeability and blocks inflammation.

Blocking a PKC may help protect vision in patients with potentially blinding eye diseases.

“Our data reveal aPKC as an interesting target both for vascular permeability and inflammation and developing aPKC inhibitors may provide a new therapeutic option for blinding eye diseases,” says David A. Antonetti, Ph.D., the Roger W. Kittendorf Research Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

“Our research may help patients with diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in working age adults in the United States, and may also lead to new treatments for uveitis, a spectrum of diseases that leads to inflammation of the eye, as well as for retinal vein and artery occlusions,” Antonetti says in a Journal announcement.

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Source: Michigan Health Lab

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