Using mouse genetics to understand AMD

Chi-Chao Chan, MD
The National Eye Institute (Bethesda, MD)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009
Macular Degeneration
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Northeastern

Chaperone and Age-Related Macular Degeneration Model


These investigators have established a genetically distinct mouse lineage that develops many features similar to AMD. By studying these mice, the investigators hope to learn more about the causes of AMD and potentially suggest new therapies.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly in the USA and developed countries. Currently there is no treatment for the disease. AMD results from damage to the retina, a neuronal tissue in the eye that is responsible for vision. We have established a mouse strain that shows many AMD features. We hypothesize that these features may result from accumulation of certain toxic proteins in retinal cells. We propose to study this mouse model and identify the specific toxic proteins. We plan to find therapies to eliminate these toxic proteins and treat AMD.


J. Tuo, R.J. Ross, A.A. Herzlich, D. Shen, X. Ding, M. Zhou, S.L. Coon, N. Hussein, N. Salem, Jr., C.C. Chan: A high omega-3 fatty acid diet reduces retinal lesions in a murine model of macular degeneration. Am J Pathol 2009;175:799-807.  

X. Ding, M. Patel, D. Shen, A.A. Herzlich, X. Cao, R. Villasmil, K. Klupsch, J. Tuo, J. Downward, C.C. Chan: Enhanced HtrA2/Omi expression in oxidative injury to retinal pigment epithelial cells and murine models of neurodegeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2009;50:4957-4966.  

A.A. Herzlich, X. Ding, D. Shen, R.J. Ross, J. Tuo, C.C. Chan: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor expression in murine models and humans with age-related macular degeneration. Open Biol J (in press). X. Ding, M. Patel, C.C. Chan: Molecular pathology of age-related macular degeneration. Prog Ret Eye Res 28:1-18, 2009.  

A.A. Herzlich, M. Patel, T. Sauer, C.Cb. Chan: Chapter 2. Retinal anatomy and pathology; Section 1. Retinal Molecular Biology. In Retinal Pharmacotherapy. Nguyen, Rodrigues, Farah, Mieler (ed.); Elsevier London, UK. (in press). [book chapter] Y. Cho, F.R. Rickles, L.M. Parver, J. Tuo, C.C. Chan: The potential pathophysiological role of tissue factor in age-related macular degeneration. Exp Rev Ophthalmol (in press).
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