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      Contribution of Microglia-Mediated Neuroinflammation to Retinal Degenerative Diseases

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          Abstract

          Retinal degenerative diseases are major causes of vision loss and blindness worldwide and are characterized by chronic and progressive neuronal loss. One common feature of retinal degenerative diseases and brain neurodegenerative diseases is chronic neuroinflammation. There is growing evidence that retinal microglia, as in the brain, become activated in the course of retinal degenerative diseases, having a pivotal role in the initiation and propagation of the neurodegenerative process. A better understanding of the events elicited and mediated by retinal microglia will contribute to the clarification of disease etiology and might open new avenues for potential therapeutic interventions. This review aims at giving an overview of the roles of microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in major retinal degenerative diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

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          Most cited references 196

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          Global data on visual impairment in the year 2002.

          This paper presents estimates of the prevalence of visual impairment and its causes in 2002, based on the best available evidence derived from recent studies. Estimates were determined from data on low vision and blindness as defined in the International statistical classification of diseases, injuries and causes of death, 10th revision. The number of people with visual impairment worldwide in 2002 was in excess of 161 million, of whom about 37 million were blind. The burden of visual impairment is not distributed uniformly throughout the world: the least developed regions carry the largest share. Visual impairment is also unequally distributed across age groups, being largely confined to adults 50 years of age and older. A distribution imbalance is also found with regard to gender throughout the world: females have a significantly higher risk of having visual impairment than males. Notwithstanding the progress in surgical intervention that has been made in many countries over the last few decades, cataract remains the leading cause of visual impairment in all regions of the world, except in the most developed countries. Other major causes of visual impairment are, in order of importance, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma.
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            Local self-renewal can sustain CNS microglia maintenance and function throughout adult life.

            Microgliosis is a common response to multiple types of damage in the CNS. However, the origin of the cells involved in this process is still controversial and the relative importance of local expansion versus recruitment of microglia progenitors from the bloodstream is unclear. Here, we investigated the origin of microglia using chimeric animals obtained by parabiosis. We found no evidence of microglia progenitor recruitment from the circulation in denervation or CNS neurodegenerative disease, suggesting that maintenance and local expansion of microglia are solely dependent on the self-renewal of CNS resident cells in these models.
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              Microglia and inflammation-mediated neurodegeneration: multiple triggers with a common mechanism.

              Inflammation, a common denominator among the diverse list of neurodegenerative diseases, has recently been implicated as a critical mechanism responsible for the progressive nature of neurodegeneration. Microglia are the resident innate immune cells in the central nervous system and produce a barrage of factors (IL-1, TNFalpha, NO, PGE2, superoxide) that are toxic to neurons. Evidence supports that the unregulated activation of microglia in response to environmental toxins, endogenous proteins, and neuronal death results in the production of toxic factors that propagate neuronal injury. In the following review, we discuss the common thread of microglial activation across numerous neurodegenerative diseases, define current perceptions of how microglia are damaging neurons, and explain how the microglial response to neuronal damage results in a self-propelling cycle of neuron death.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mediators Inflamm
                Mediators Inflamm
                MI
                Mediators of Inflammation
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                0962-9351
                1466-1861
                2015
                22 March 2015
                : 2015
                Affiliations
                1Centre of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, IBILI, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3004-548 Coimbra, Portugal
                2Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
                3Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
                4AIBILI, Coimbra, Portugal
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Kiyoshi Matsumura

                Article
                10.1155/2015/673090
                4385698
                Copyright © 2015 Maria H. Madeira et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article

                Immunology

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