Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress as a Primary Pathogenic Mechanism Leading to Age-Related Macular Degeneration

  • Richard T. Libby
  • Douglas B. Gould
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 664)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multi-factorial disease and a leading cause of blindness. Proteomic and genetic data suggest that activation or de-repression of the alternate complement cascade of innate immunity is involved in end-stage disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that production of reactive oxygen species and chronic oxidative stress lead to protein and lipid modifications that initiate the complement cascade. Understanding the triggers of these pathogenic pathways and the site of the primary insult will be important for development of targeted therapeutics. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress from misfolded mutant proteins and other sources are an important potential tributary mechanism. We propose that misfolded-protein-induced ER stress in the retinal-pigmented epithelium and/or choroid could lead to chronic oxidative stress, complement deregulation and AMD. Small molecules targeted to ER stress and oxidative stress could allow for a shift from disease treatment to disease prevention.


Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Geographic Atrophy Alternate Complement Pathway Chronic Oxidative Stress Endoplasmic Reticulum Associate Degradation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Ophthalmology and Biomedical GeneticsUniversity of Rochester Eye Institute, University of Rochester Medical SchoolRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Ophthalmology and Anatomy and Institute for Human GeneticsUniversity of California at San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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