Attributions

Targeting Rev-erbα to Preserve RPE and Photoreceptor Cells in AMD

Jing Chen, PhD Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Summary

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly. It results from the death of cells critical for vision: retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) and photoreceptor cells. Currently, there is no treatment to prevent or slow the loss of these cells in dry AMD patients. Our work aims to investigate mechanistically the molecular processes through which dysregulation of factors controlling oxidative stress impairs RPE and photoreceptor cell metabolism and their survival in AMD.

Project Details

AMD, a major cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly, results from death of cells critical for vision: RPE and photoreceptor cells. These cells are interdependent, as RPE provides nutritional support to allow photoreceptors to respond to light. Currently, there is no treatment to prevent or slow the loss of these cells in dry AMD patients. This work aims to investigate, mechanistically, the molecular processes related to dysregulation of factors that normally protect the eye against oxidative stress, thus impairing RPE and photoreceptor cellular metabolism and their survival in AMD. Novel activators of this molecular pathway will be evaluated in a pre-clinical animal model of AMD to determine if treatment is effective in preventing or slowing the development of AMD-like pathologies. Findings from this work will identify a novel drug target for developing potential therapies for preventing cell death and preserving vision in dry AMD.