Consequences of oxidative stress in age-related macular degeneration

Stuart G. Jarrett, Michael E. Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

259 Scopus citations

Abstract

The retina resides in an environment that is primed for the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and resultant oxidative damage. The retina is one of the highest oxygen-consuming tissues in the human body. The highest oxygen levels are found in the choroid, but this falls dramatically across the outermost retina, creating a large gradient of oxygen towards the retina and inner segments of the photoreceptors which contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This micro-environment together with abundant photosensitizers, visible light exposure and a high energy demand supports a highly oxidative milieu. However, oxidative damage is normally minimized by the presence of a range of antioxidant and efficient repair systems. Unfortunately, as we age oxidative damage increases, antioxidant capacity decreases and the efficiency of reparative systems become impaired. The result is retinal dysfunction and cell loss leading to visual impairment. It appears that these age-related oxidative changes are a hallmark of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which, in combination with hereditary susceptibility and other retinal modifiers, can progress to the pathology and visual morbidity associated with advanced AMD. This review reassesses the consequences of oxidative stress in AMD and strategies for preventing or reversing oxidative damage in retinal tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-417
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular Aspects of Medicine
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Antioxidants
  • Cell regeneration
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Consequences of oxidative stress in age-related macular degeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this