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The role of lymphocytes and phagocytes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

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Published:1st Mar 2020
Author: Behnke V, Wolf A, Langmann T.
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Ref.:Cell Mol Life Sci. 2020 Mar;77(5):781-788.
DOI:10.1007/s00018-019-03419-4
The role of lymphocytes and phagocytes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual impairment of the elderly population. Since AMD is a multifactorial age-related disease with various genetic risk factors, the understanding of its complex pathophysiology is still limited. However, animal experiments, genome-wide association data and the molecular profiling of AMD patient samples have highlighted a key role of systemic and local immune processes that contribute to this chronic eye disease. In this overview article, we concentrate on the role of lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes and their interplay in triggering a persistent immune response in the AMD retina. We preferentially review findings from human immune cell analyses and complement these with related findings in experimental models. We conclude that both immune cell types as their signaling network may be a rich source to identify novel molecular targets for immunomodulation in AMD.


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