According to a recent National Eye Institute (NEI) study in mice, loss of the protein pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), which protects retinal support cells, may promote age-related changes in the retina.
Age-related retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), can cause blindness since the retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The new information could help develop medicines to stop AMD and other aging conditions of the retina. The research was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
“People have called PEDF the ‘youth’ protein because it is abundant in young retinas, but it declines during aging,” said Patricia Becerra, Ph.D., chief of NEI’s Section of Protein Structure and Function and senior author of the study. “This study showed for the first time that just removing PEDF leads to a host of gene changes that mimic aging in the retina.”
Source: SciTech Daily
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