Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible visual impairment among people over 50 years of age, accounting for up to 50% of all cases of legal blindness in Western countries. Although the aging represents the main determinant of AMD, it must be considered a multifaceted disease caused by interactions among environmental risk factors and genetic backgrounds. Mounting evidence and/or arguments document the crucial role of inflammation and immune-mediated processes in the pathogenesis of AMD. Proinflammatory effects secondary to chronic inflammation (e.g., alternative complement activation) and heterogeneous types of oxidative stress (e.g., impaired cholesterol homeostasis) can result in degenerative damages at the level of crucial macular structures, that is photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium, and Bruch's membrane. In the most recent years, the association of AMD with genes, directly or indirectly, involved in immunoinflammatory pathways is increasingly becoming an essential core for AMD knowledge. Starting from the key basic-research notions detectable at the root of AMD pathogenesis, the present up-to-date paper reviews the best-known and/or the most attractive genetic findings linked to the mechanisms of inflammation of this complex disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology