Medindia
Advertisement

Loss of Anti-aging Gene Possible Cause of Age-related Macular Degeneration

by Thilaka Ravi on October 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM
Font : A-A+

Loss of Anti-aging Gene Possible Cause of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) have found that loss of an anti-aging gene induces retinal degeneration in mice and this might contribute to age-related macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in elderly people.

In the Oct. 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, the scientists demonstrated a key role for the aging-suppressor gene Klotho in maintaining the health of the mouse and human retina. They say that in their animal studies, loss of Klotho expression leads to characteristics observed in both kinds of macular degeneration — wet and dry — seen in humans.

Advertisement

Klotho, a hormone that is synthesized and secreted by some organs and tissues, is being studied worldwide for its anti-aging properties. A Japanese researcher discovered 15 years ago that when Klotho is mutated, a mouse that should live two years survives for only two months. Transgenic mice that overexpress the Klotho gene have a longer-than-expected lifespan.

"We found four important functions Klotho provides in the human retina, which leads us to believe that the gene is crucial to the health of this light sensitive tissue," says the study's senior investigator, Nady Golestaneh, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology, neurology, biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology at GUMC.
Advertisement

They found that Klotho increases the activity of genes that synthesize the light absorbing visual pigments in the retinal cells. Klotho also increases the expression of genes that protect against the oxidative stress known to damage the retina, and which can lead to dry macular degeneration. Klotho inhibits the vascular endothelial growth factor and therefore, might play an important role in inhibiting the overgrowth of blood vessels in the eye, a major cause of wet macular degeneration.

Klotho also regulates phagocytosis of the outer segment of photoreceptors in the retina. This process allows the photoreceptors to renew themselves, and if that function is abolished, the photoreceptors degenerate and die causing blindness.

"For these reasons, we believe Klotho might be an interesting therapeutic target for age-related macular degeneration," Golestaneh says. "Gene therapy or cell therapy might be able to induce new expression of Klotho in the aging retina."

But she adds that before these strategies can be tested, research that quantifies the decline of Klotho expression in human eyes, and directly links this dysfunction to macular degeneration, must be undertaken.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Gonorrhea
World Alzheimer's Day 2021 - 'Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer's
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Blindness Facts Anti-aging Secrets to a Younger You Anti-Aging Treatment with Vinotherapy or Wine Facials Weaver Syndrome Telomere Shortening And Ageing Top 7 Most Essential Anti-Aging Ingredients That Work 

Recommended Reading
Age Related Macular Degeneration
AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD) is a disease associated with ageing. It is a degenerative ......
Foods that Gives You Sparkling Eyes
Food not only sustains us but the kind and quality of food determines the state of your health, ......
Laser Eye Surgery - Animation
Interactive section of Medindia gives general information about Laser Eye Surgery...
Research 'Extraordinaire' To Restore Vision
UK scientists have discovered a treatment for blindness in mice by employing stem cell transplants...
Anti-aging Secrets to a Younger You
Is there anyone in this world who fails to be swayed by the magic of youth? None, for when youth exp...
Anti-Aging Treatment with Vinotherapy or Wine Facials
Experience the bliss of vinotherapy - the power of grapes for a kissable skin....
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Telomere Shortening And Ageing
Telomeres are cap- like structures at chromosome ends that play an important role in ageing and in t...
Top 7 Most Essential Anti-Aging Ingredients That Work
Anti-aging ingredients can prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles, dryness, and sagging of skin. Re...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use