Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may cause severe loss of vision or blindness, particularly in elderly people. Exudative AMD is characterized by the angiogenesis of blood vessels growing from underneath the macula, crossing the blood–retina barrier (which comprises Bruch’s membrane (BM) and the retinal pigmentation epithelium (RPE)), leaking blood and fluid into the retina and knocking off photoreceptors. Here, we simulate a computational model of angiogenesis from the choroid blood vessels via a cellular Potts model, as well as BM, RPE cells, drusen deposits and photoreceptors. Our results indicate that improving AMD may require fixing the impaired lateral adhesion between RPE cells and with BM, as well as diminishing Vessel Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and Jagged proteins that affect the Notch signaling pathway. Our numerical simulations suggest that anti-VEGF and anti-Jagged therapies could temporarily halt exudative AMD while addressing impaired cellular adhesion, which could be more effective over a longer time-span.
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