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      Targeting the complement system for the management of retinal inflammatory and degenerative diseases

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          The retina, an immune privileged tissue, has specialized immune defense mechanisms against noxious insults that may exist in diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), uveoretinitis and glaucoma. The defense system consists of retinal innate immune cells (including microglia, perivascular macrophages, and a small population of dendritic cells) and the complement system. Under normal aging conditions, retinal innate immune cells and the complement system undergo a low-grade activation (parainflammation) which is important for retinal homeostasis. In disease states such as AMD and DR, the parainflammatory response is dysregulated and develops into detrimental chronic inflammation. Complement activation in the retina is an important part of chronic inflammation and may contribute to retinal pathology in these disease states. Here, we review the evidence that supports the role of uncontrolled or dysregulated complement activation in various retinal degenerative and angiogenic conditions. We also discuss current strategies that are used to develop complement-based therapies for retinal diseases such as AMD. The potential benefits of complement inhibition in DR, uveoretinitis and glaucoma are also discussed, as well as the need for further research to better understand the mechanisms of complement-mediated retinal damage in these disease states.

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          Origin and physiological roles of inflammation.

          Inflammation underlies a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes. Although the pathological aspects of many types of inflammation are well appreciated, their physiological functions are mostly unknown. The classic instigators of inflammation - infection and tissue injury - are at one end of a large range of adverse conditions that induce inflammation, and they trigger the recruitment of leukocytes and plasma proteins to the affected tissue site. Tissue stress or malfunction similarly induces an adaptive response, which is referred to here as para-inflammation. This response relies mainly on tissue-resident macrophages and is intermediate between the basal homeostatic state and a classic inflammatory response. Para-inflammation is probably responsible for the chronic inflammatory conditions that are associated with modern human diseases.
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            Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

             Wan Wong,  Xinyi Su,  Xiang Li (2014)
            Numerous population-based studies of age-related macular degeneration have been reported around the world, with the results of some studies suggesting racial or ethnic differences in disease prevalence. Integrating these resources to provide summarised data to establish worldwide prevalence and to project the number of people with age-related macular degeneration from 2020 to 2040 would be a useful guide for global strategies. We did a systematic literature review to identify all population-based studies of age-related macular degeneration published before May, 2013. Only studies using retinal photographs and standardised grading classifications (the Wisconsin age-related maculopathy grading system, the international classification for age-related macular degeneration, or the Rotterdam staging system) were included. Hierarchical Bayesian approaches were used to estimate the pooled prevalence, the 95% credible intervals (CrI), and to examine the difference in prevalence by ethnicity (European, African, Hispanic, Asian) and region (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania). UN World Population Prospects were used to project the number of people affected in 2014 and 2040. Bayes factor was calculated as a measure of statistical evidence, with a score above three indicating substantial evidence. Analysis of 129,664 individuals (aged 30-97 years), with 12,727 cases from 39 studies, showed the pooled prevalence (mapped to an age range of 45-85 years) of early, late, and any age-related macular degeneration to be 8.01% (95% CrI 3.98-15.49), 0.37% (0.18-0.77), and 8.69% (4.26-17.40), respectively. We found a higher prevalence of early and any age-related macular degeneration in Europeans than in Asians (early: 11.2% vs 6.8%, Bayes factor 3.9; any: 12.3% vs 7.4%, Bayes factor 4.3), and early, late, and any age-related macular degeneration to be more prevalent in Europeans than in Africans (early: 11.2% vs 7.1%, Bayes factor 12.2; late: 0.5% vs 0.3%, 3.7; any: 12.3% vs 7.5%, 31.3). There was no difference in prevalence between Asians and Africans (all Bayes factors <1). Europeans had a higher prevalence of geographic atrophy subtype (1.11%, 95% CrI 0.53-2.08) than Africans (0.14%, 0.04-0.45), Asians (0.21%, 0.04-0.87), and Hispanics (0.16%, 0.05-0.46). Between geographical regions, cases of early and any age-related macular degeneration were less prevalent in Asia than in Europe and North America (early: 6.3% vs 14.3% and 12.8% [Bayes factor 2.3 and 7.6]; any: 6.9% vs 18.3% and 14.3% [3.0 and 3.8]). No significant gender effect was noted in prevalence (Bayes factor <1.0). The projected number of people with age-related macular degeneration in 2020 is 196 million (95% CrI 140-261), increasing to 288 million in 2040 (205-399). These estimates indicate the substantial global burden of age-related macular degeneration. Summarised data provide information for understanding the effect of the condition and provide data towards designing eye-care strategies and health services around the world. National Medical Research Council, Singapore. Copyright © 2014 Wong et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY-NC-ND. Published by .. All rights reserved.
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              Inflammation in diabetic retinopathy.

              Diabetes causes a number of metabolic and physiologic abnormalities in the retina, but which of these abnormalities contribute to recognized features of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is less clear. Many of the molecular and physiologic abnormalities that have been found to develop in the retina in diabetes are consistent with inflammation. Moreover, a number of anti-inflammatory therapies have been found to significantly inhibit development of different aspects of DR in animal models. Herein, we review the inflammatory mediators and their relationship to early and late DR, and discuss the potential of anti-inflammatory approaches to inhibit development of different stages of the retinopathy. We focus primarily on information derived from in vivo studies, supplementing with information from in vitro studies were important. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Pharmacol
                Eur. J. Pharmacol
                European Journal of Pharmacology
                Elsevier Science
                15 September 2016
                15 September 2016
                : 787
                : 94-104
                Centre for Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, Queen's University Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, Queen's University Belfast97 Lisburn RoadBelfastBT9 7BLUK heping.xu@
                © 2016 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

                Retinal Degeneration and Protection


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