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Minerva Oftalmologica 2018 March;60(1):11-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4903.18.01788-9


lingua: Inglese

β-amyloidopathy in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration in correlation with Alzheimer’s disease in the aspect of autophagy anomalies

Victor V. ERMILOV 1 , Valeriy L. ZAGREBIN 2, Alla A. NESTEROVA 3

1 Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Volgograd State Medical University, Volgograd, Russia; 2 Department of Histology, Embryology, Cytology, Volgograd State Medical University, Volgograd, Russia; 3 Рyatigorsk Medical Pharmaceutical Institute of Volgograd, Medical State University of the Ministry of Health Care, Volgograd, Russia


BACKGROUND: Given the interest in the autophagic process playing a role in homeostasis of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and in common features for both age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer disease (AD), characterized by progressive neurodegeneration and pathological protein aggregation in the brain and in the eye, we sought to evaluate clinical and morphological features of amyloidogenesis in AMD as a manifestation of β-amyloidopathy.
METHODS: With the help of electron microscopy and selective methods of amyloid detection 111 AMD eyes and brain specimens taken from 56 Alzheimer’s donors were examined.
RESULTS: Amyloid deposits were identified in 42.3% in the fundus of AMD eyes taken from 56 Alzheimer’s donors. Β-amyloid deposits were specific to drusen, Bruch membrane (BM), retina, and choroid vessels of eyes and to senile plaques, and vessels of brain. The deposits of β-amyloid (Aβ) were identified in 39% (39 globes of 100) of dry AMD, and in 80% (8 globes of 11) of wet AMD. The morphometry analysis showed the lowest number of RPE nuclei in the eyes with wet AMD and amyloidosis, in the age group 81-100 years.
CONCLUSIONS: It has been demonstrated that the keynote of AMD pathogenesis is β-amyloidopathy which contributes to cytotoxicity, neurodegeneration and pathological apoptosis in retina. We hypothesized that Aβ aggregation is connected with autophagy pathway disturbance in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Such view on the problem creates the preconditions for the development of new strategies for ophthalmogeriatric and neuroprotective approaches preventing intracellular autophagy dysfunction which leads to Aβ formation and its pathological aggregation.

KEY WORDS: Amyloidosis - Macular degeneration - Alzheimer disease - Autophagy

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