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Experimental Models in Neovascular Age Related Macular Degeneration

Zinc and Autophagy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, 90-236 Lodz, Poland
Department of Orthodontics, Medical University of Lodz, 92-216 Lodz, Poland
Department of Clinical Nutrition and Gastroenterological Diagnostics, Medical University of Lodz, 90-647 Lodz, Poland
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Medical University of Lodz, 92-216 Lodz, Poland
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 4994;
Received: 22 June 2020 / Revised: 13 July 2020 / Accepted: 13 July 2020 / Published: 15 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Biology of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) 2.0)
Zinc supplementation is reported to slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but there is no general consensus on the beneficiary effect on zinc in AMD. As zinc can stimulate autophagy that is declined in AMD, it is rational to assume that it can slow down its progression. As melanosomes are the main reservoir of zinc in the retina, zinc may decrease the number of lipofuscin granules that are substrates for autophagy. The triad zinc–autophagy–AMD could explain some controversies associated with population studies on zinc supplementation in AMD as the effect of zinc on AMD may be modulated by genetic background. This aspect was not determined in many studies regarding zinc in AMD. Zinc deficiency induces several events associated with AMD pathogenesis, including increased oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and the resulting lipofuscinogenesis. The latter requires autophagy, which is impaired. This is a vicious cycle-like reaction that may contribute to AMD progression. Promising results with zinc deficiency and supplementation in AMD patients and animal models, as well as emerging evidence of the importance of autophagy in AMD, are the rationale for future research on the role of autophagy in the role of zinc supplementation in AMD. View Full-Text
Keywords: age-related macular degeneration; AMD; zinc; autophagy; melanosomes; lipofuscin age-related macular degeneration; AMD; zinc; autophagy; melanosomes; lipofuscin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Blasiak, J.; Pawlowska, E.; Chojnacki, J.; Szczepanska, J.; Chojnacki, C.; Kaarniranta, K. Zinc and Autophagy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 4994.

AMA Style

Blasiak J, Pawlowska E, Chojnacki J, Szczepanska J, Chojnacki C, Kaarniranta K. Zinc and Autophagy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(14):4994.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blasiak, Janusz, Elzbieta Pawlowska, Jan Chojnacki, Joanna Szczepanska, Cezary Chojnacki, and Kai Kaarniranta. 2020. "Zinc and Autophagy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 14: 4994.

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