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      Soft Drusen in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Biology and Targeting Via the Oil Spill Strategies

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          Abstract

          AMD is a major cause of legal blindness in older adults approachable through multidisciplinary research involving human tissues and patients. AMD is a vascular-metabolic-inflammatory disease, in which two sets of extracellular deposits, soft drusen/basal linear deposit (BLinD) and subretinal drusenoid deposit (SDD), confer risk for end-stages of atrophy and neovascularization. Understanding how deposits form can lead to insights for new preventions and therapy. The topographic correspondence of BLinD and SDD with cones and rods, respectively, suggest newly realized exchange pathways among outer retinal cells and across Bruch's membrane and the subretinal space, in service of highly evolved, eye-specific physiology. This review focuses on soft drusen/BLinD, summarizing evidence that a major ultrastructural component is large apolipoprotein B,E-containing, cholesterol-rich lipoproteins secreted by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that offload unneeded lipids of dietary and outer segment origin to create an atherosclerosis-like progression in the subRPE-basal lamina space. Clinical observations and an RPE cell culture system combine to suggest that soft drusen/BLinD form when secretions of functional RPE back up in the subRPE-basal lamina space by impaired egress across aged Bruch's membrane-choriocapillary endothelium. The soft drusen lifecycle includes growth, anterior migration of RPE atop drusen, then collapse, and atrophy. Proof-of-concept studies in humans and animal models suggest that targeting the “Oil Spill in Bruch's membrane” offers promise of treating a process in early AMD that underlies progression to both end-stages. A companion article addresses the antecedents of soft drusen within the biology of the macula.

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          Drusen proteome analysis: an approach to the etiology of age-related macular degeneration.

          Drusen are extracellular deposits that accumulate below the retinal pigment epithelium on Bruch's membrane and are risk factors for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The progression of AMD might be slowed or halted if the formation of drusen could be modulated. To work toward a molecular understanding of drusen formation, we have developed a method for isolating microgram quantities of drusen and Bruch's membrane for proteome analysis. Liquid chromatography tandem MS analyses of drusen preparations from 18 normal donors and five AMD donors identified 129 proteins. Immunocytochemical studies have thus far localized approximately 16% of these proteins in drusen. Tissue metalloproteinase inhibitor 3, clusterin, vitronectin, and serum albumin were the most common proteins observed in normal donor drusen whereas crystallin was detected more frequently in AMD donor drusen. Up to 65% of the proteins identified were found in drusen from both AMD and normal donors. However, oxidative protein modifications were also observed, including apparent crosslinked species of tissue metalloproteinase inhibitor 3 and vitronectin, and carboxyethyl pyrrole protein adducts. Carboxyethyl pyrrole adducts are uniquely generated from the oxidation of docosahexaenoate-containing lipids. By Western analysis they were found to be more abundant in AMD than in normal Bruch's membrane and were found associated with drusen proteins. Carboxymethyl lysine, another oxidative modification, was also detected in drusen. These data strongly support the hypothesis that oxidative injury contributes to the pathogenesis of AMD and suggest that oxidative protein modifications may have a critical role in drusen formation.
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            A role for local inflammation in the formation of drusen in the aging eye.

            The accumulation of numerous or confluent drusen, especially in the macula, is a significant risk factor for the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Identifying the origin and molecular composition of these deposits, therefore, has been an important, yet elusive, objective for many decades. Recently, a more complete profile of the molecular composition of drusen has emerged. In this focused review, we discuss these new findings and their implications for the pathogenic events that give rise to drusen and AMD. Tissue specimens from one or both eyes of more than 400 human donors were examined by light, confocal or electron microscopy, in conjunction with antibodies to specific drusen-associated proteins, to help characterize the transitional events in drusen biogenesis. Quantification of messenger RNA from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid of donor eyes was used to determine if local ocular sources for drusen-associated molecules exist. The results indicate that cellular remnants and debris derived from degenerate RPE cells become sequestered between the RPE basal lamina and Bruch's membrane. We propose that this cellular debris constitutes a chronic inflammatory stimulus, and a potential "nucleation" site for drusen formation. The entrapped cellular debris then becomes the target of encapsulation by a variety of inflammatory mediators, some of which are contributed by the RPE and, perhaps, other local cell types; and some of which are extravasated from the choroidal circulation. The results support a role for local inflammation in drusen biogenesis, and suggest that it is analogous to the process that occurs in other age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis, where accumulation of extracellular plaques and deposits elicits a local chronic inflammatory response that exacerbates the effects of primary pathogenic stimuli.
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              Decline in Cardiovascular Mortality: Possible Causes and Implications.

              If the control of infectious diseases was the public health success story of the first half of the 20th century, then the decline in mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke has been the success story of the century's past 4 decades. The early phase of this decline in coronary heart disease and stroke was unexpected and controversial when first reported in the mid-1970s, having followed 60 years of gradual increase as the US population aged. However, in 1978, the participants in a conference convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute concluded that a significant recent downtick in coronary heart disease and stroke mortality rates had definitely occurred, at least in the US Since 1978, a sharp decline in mortality rates from coronary heart disease and stroke has become unmistakable throughout the industrialized world, with age-adjusted mortality rates having declined to about one third of their 1960s baseline by 2000. Models have shown that this remarkable decline has been fueled by rapid progress in both prevention and treatment, including precipitous declines in cigarette smoking, improvements in hypertension treatment and control, widespread use of statins to lower circulating cholesterol levels, and the development and timely use of thrombolysis and stents in acute coronary syndrome to limit or prevent infarction. However, despite the huge growth in knowledge and advances in prevention and treatment, there remain many questions about this decline. In fact, there is evidence that the rate of decline may have abated and may even be showing early signs of reversal in some population groups. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, through a request for information, is soliciting input that could inform a follow-up conference on or near the 40th anniversary of the original landmark conference to further explore these trends in cardiovascular mortality in the context of what has come before and what may lie ahead.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
                Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci
                iovs
                Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
                IOVS
                Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
                The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
                0146-0404
                1552-5783
                March 2018
                : 59
                : 4
                : AMD160-AMD181
                Affiliations
                [1]Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Christine A. Curcio, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Vision Research Laboratories, 1670 University Boulevard Room 360, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL 35294-0019, USA; christinecurcio@ 123456uabmc.edu .
                Article
                iovs-59-04-19 IOVS-18-24882R2
                10.1167/iovs.18-24882
                6733535
                30357336
                7a75365b-8aec-4c96-af4b-17ef7df5ae34
                Copyright 2018 The Authors

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

                History
                : 22 May 2018
                : 4 September 2018
                Categories
                Special Issue

                age-related macular degeneration,drusen,atrophy,lipoproteins,cholesterol,retinal pigment epithelium,bruch's membrane,apolipoprotein mimetic,statin,non-human primate,mouse models

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