TGF-beta has essential role in retinal health

Apr 15, 2009

The Schepens Eye Research Institute has found that retinal dysfunction may be caused by blocking the growth factor TGF-beta. The research may have an important impact on the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

The Schepens Eye Research Institute has found that retinal dysfunction may be caused by blocking the growth factor TGF-beta. The research may have an important impact on the prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

"These results are significant because they add to our understanding of the molecules that help to maintain blood vessels in a healthy state," says Patricia D'Amore, PhD, senior scientist at Schepens and principal investigator of the study, who adds that this information may be useful in understanding the changes that occur in the retinal microvasculature prior to the development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

"Insight into the role of this growth factor may also help clinicians monitor the use of systemic drugs targeting TGF-beta, which is elevated in a number of conditions (such as cancer and fibrotic diseases) to limit any vision problems that might occur as a side effects," adds Tony Walshe, PhD, the first author of the study and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the D'Amore's laboratory team.

Published in the April 2 issue of PLoS ONE the study read the full article here

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