Isolation of Novel compounds Involved in RPE Atrophy

Heidi Vollmer-Snarr, PhD
Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2007
Macular Degeneration
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Southwestern

Isolation of Novel compounds Involved in RPE Atrophy


AMD is a disease in which the macula, the central part of the retina of the eye, loses cells which cannot be replaced. This cellular damage is believed to be responsible for the loss of vision. The primary goal of the Dr. Vollmer-Snarr's research efforts is to more completely identify the specific chemical components of the macula that are being damaged and may cause AMD. Chemical composition of the macula strongly suggests that unknown compounds related to the known damaging agent are present. These other components may provide a missing link in our understanding of AMD and other macular diseases. The long-term objective of this project is to provide new insight in order to develop preventative and therapeutic strategies for AMD and other retinal degenerative diseases.


Vollmer-Snarr, H.R., Pew, M.R., Alvarez, M.L., Cameron, D.J., Chen, Z., Walker, G.L., Price, J.L., Swallow, J.L. (2006) Amino-retinoid compounds in the human retinal pigment epithelium. Adv Exp Med Biol. 572:69-74.  

Karan, G., Lillo, C., Yang, Z., Cameron, D.J., Locke, K.G., Zhao, Y., Thirumalaichary, S., Li, C., Birch, D.G., Vollmer-Snarr, H.R., Williams, D.S., and Zhang, K. (2005) Lipofuscin accumulation, abnormal electrophysical and photreceptor degeneration in mutant ELOVL4 transgenic mice: a model for macular degeneration. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 102(11):4164-4169.  

Cristofol, V.-B., Anand, M., Shirazi, A. K., Magrane, J., Gao, J., Vollmer-Snarr, H. R., Manfredi, G., and Finnemann, S. C. The Age-Lipid A2E and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Synergistically Impair Phagocytosis by Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells, J. Biol. Chem., 2008, 283, 24770:24780.  

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