Retinal Degeneration and Cellular Suicide
Retinal degenerative diseases are a heterogeneous group of dystrophies defined by progressive loss of vision due to photoreceptor cell death. They are caused by genetic mutation, nutrient deprivation, oxidative stress, or inflammation. A common thread among these conditions is the activation of programmed cell death (PCD) during the disease process. Although PCD is vital for the proper development and maintenance of the retina, the inappropriate activation of cellular suicide pathways upsets the balance of death/life signals within a cell and can ultimately lead to the untimely death of sensitive cells such as photoreceptors. The goal of many researchers is to reestablish this balance through the removal of PCD triggers or blocking of PCD pathways. We will examine gene therapy approaches that directly target PCD pathways and some successes in protecting the retina from degeneration.
KeywordsApoptosis Autophagy Retinitis pigmentosa XIAP Retinal degeneration Programmed cell death Retina
- Lamkanfi M, Declercq W, Depuydt B et al (2003) The Caspase Family. In: Los M, Walczak H (eds) Caspases: Their Role in Cell Death and Cell Survival. Landes Bioscience and Kluwer Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Li ZY, Milam AH (1995) Apoptosis in retinitis pigmentosa. In: Anderson R, LaVail M, Hollyfield J (eds) Degenerative Diseases of the Retina. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar