Good news for patients suffering from dry age-related macular degeneration

Scientists have good news for patients who suffer from currently untreatable dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD). In a new study, researchers identified a potential target for future therapies to slow the progression of the blinding condition. Published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), the findings indicate that treatments currently used for other conditions could also work for dry AMD.
The paper, “Protective Effects of Anti-Placental Growth Factor Antibody Against Light-Induced Retinal Damage in Mice,” brings to light the effect of a known protein, placental growth factor (PlGF), on the development of dry AMD. PlGF had previously been implicated in the progression of a related disease known as wet AMD.
“Currently, blocking PlGF in wet AMD has a therapeutic effect,” says author Hideaki Hara, PhD, of Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Department of Biofunctional Evaluation. “In our study, we wanted to learn if PlGF could be a useful therapeutic target for dry AMD.”
Earlier in vitro studies by the authors showed that injecting PlGF into retinal cells — the cells at the back of the eye responsible for sight — reduced light-induced damage. In this work, the authors evaluated how mice retina responded to injection of PlGF before and after exposure to intense light, a procedure that produces dry AMD-like conditions. Surprisingly, the new in vivo mouse studies contradicted the previous results.
“In the present study, we thought that treatment with PlGF would show a protective effect against light-induced retinal degeneration,” explains Hara. “Instead, PlGF aggravated the degeneration.”………
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Source: News Medical
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