Microvascular contributions to age-related macular degeneration (AMD): from mechanisms of choriocapillaris aging to novel interventions

AbstractAging of the microcirculatory network plays a central role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of age-related diseases, from heart failure to Alzheimer ’s disease. In the eye, changes in the choroid and choroidal microcirculation (choriocapillaris) also occur with age, and these changes can play a critical role in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In order to develop novel treatments for amelioration of choriocapillaris aging and prevention of AMD, it is essential to understand the cellular and functional changes that occur in the choroid and choriocapillaris during aging. In this review, recent advances in in vivo analysis of choroidal structure and function in AMD patients and patients at risk for AMD are discuss ed. The pathophysiological roles of fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and impaired resistance to molecular stressors in the choriocapillaris are also considered in terms of their contribution to the pathogenesis of AMD. The pathogenic roles of cardiovascular risk factors that exacerbate microvascular aging processes, such as smoking, hypertension, and obesity as they relate to AMD and choroid and choriocapillaris changes in patients with these cardiovascular risk factors, are also discussed. Finally, future directions and opportunities to develop novel interventions to prevent/delay AMD by targeting fundamental cellular and molecular aging processes a...
Source: AGE - Category: Geriatrics Source Type: research

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