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Extracellular vesicles as a potential therapeutic for age-related macular degeneration

Chow, Lorraine L.C. and Mead, Ben ORCID: 2023. Extracellular vesicles as a potential therapeutic for age-related macular degeneration. Neural Regeneration Research 18 (9) , pp. 1876-1880. 10.4103/1673-5374.367835

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Age-related macular degeneration is a major global cause of central visual impairment and severe vision loss. With an aging population, the already immense economic burden of costly anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment is likely to increase. In addition, current conventional treatment is only available for the late neovascular stage of age-related macular degeneration, and injections can come with potentially devastating complications, introducing the need for more economical and risk-free treatment. In recent years, exosomes, which are nano-sized extracellular vesicles of an endocytic origin, have shown immense potential as diagnostic biomarkers and in the therapeutic application, as they are bestowed with characteristics including an expansive cargo that closely resembles their parent cell and exceptional ability of intercellular communication and targeting neighboring cells. Exosomes are currently undergoing clinical trials for various conditions such as type 1 diabetes and autoimmune diseases; however, exosomes as a potential therapy for several retinal diseases have just begun to undergo scrutinizing investigation with little literature on age-related macular degeneration specifically. This article will focus on the limited literature available on exosome transplantation treatment in age-related macular degeneration animal models and in vitro cell cultures, as well as briefly identify future research directions. Current literature on exosome therapy using age-related macular degeneration rodent models includes laser retinal injury, N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, and royal college of surgeon models, which mimic inflammatory and degenerative aspects of age-related macular degeneration. These have shown promising results in preserving retinal function and morphology, as well as protecting photoreceptors from apoptosis. Exosomes from their respective cellular origins may also act by regulating the expression of various inflammatory cytokines, mRNAs, and proteins involved in photoreceptor degeneration pathways to exert a therapeutic effect. Various findings have also opened exciting prospects for the involvement of cargo components in remedial effects on the damaged macula or retina.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Medknow Publications
ISSN: 1673-5374
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 25 November 2022
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 05:40

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