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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cellular models and therapies for age-related macular degeneration

  • Author(s): Forest, DL
  • Johnson, LV
  • Clegg, DO
  • et al.

Copyright © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex neurodegenerative visual disorder that causes profound physical and psychosocial effects. Visual impairment inAMDis caused by the loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells and the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells that they support. There is currently no effective treatment for the most common form of this disease (dry AMD). A new approach to treating AMD involves the transplantation of RPE cells derived fromeither human embryonic or induced pluripotent stemcells. Multiple clinical trials are being initiated using a variety of cell therapies. Although many animal models are available for AMD research, most do not recapitulate all aspects of the disease, hampering progress. However, the use of cultured RPE cells in AMD research is well established and, indeed, some of the more recently described RPEbased models show promise for investigating the molecular mechanisms of AMD and for screening drug candidates. Here, we discuss innovative cell-culturemodels of AMD and emerging stem-cellbased therapies for the treatment of this vision-robbing disease.

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