A murine model of AMD with CNV and sub-RPE deposits
A gene that has been implicated as a risk factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is apolipoprotein E, or apoE. The human apoE gene exists in three variations or alleles, designated as apoE2, -E3 and -E4. Dr. Bowes-Rickman is studying the relative roles of each form of apoE, along with aging and diet, on the structural integrity of the retina and its adjacent blood supply in a potential mouse model of AMD. She has hypothesized that the combination of three major risk factors for AMD―apoE isoform expression, aging and diet―cause pathological changes in the retina, including the formation and accumulation of debris under the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and new blood vessel growth. Her goal is to produce a mouse model that closely approximates these features of human AMD. This murine model can then be induced to express the defining events that lead to choroidal neovascularization in late AMD and provide a model for testing new therapies.