Navigation Links
Genetic finding implicates innate immune system in major cause of blindness
Date:10/7/2008

Scientists have identified one of the genes implicated in age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in developed countries.

The research, published online today in the Lancet, adds to the growing understanding of the genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which the researchers believe should ultimately lead to novel treatments for the disease.

Almost two-thirds of people aged 80 years or older are affected by AMD to some degree, with more than one in ten left blind by the disease. In the UK, the annual economic burden from the disease has been estimated to be as high as 80 million, a figure set to increase as our ageing population expands. The total yearly costs of health-care usage are seven-times higher for patients with AMD than for those unaffected.

Researchers have previously identified a number of other genes or genetic loci (regions of the genome) which affect a person's susceptibility to the disease. Now, in research part-funded by the Wellcome Trust, researchers at the University of Southampton have shown that a particular variant of the gene SERPING1, carried by just under a quarter of the population, appears to offer protection against the disease.

The University of Southampton team and colleagues from the University of Iowa found evidence of proteins expressed by SERPING1 in the retina and the choroid layer (the vascular layer next to the retina), the two areas affected by AMD. These proteins are involved in regulating a part of the body's innate immune system known as the "complement system". The findings suggest that the complement system is malfunctioning, attacking the retina and choroid layer.

"It seems counterintuitive that a generalised innate immunity defence system should result in a localised disease of the eye in the elderly," Says Professor Andrew Lotery from the University of Southampton, corresponding author on the study. "However, it is becoming increasingly clear from research that this is the case. Previous AMD genes have already implicated the 'alternate' complement pathway, and our paper shows that the 'classical' complement pathway is also involved in this process."


'/>"/>

Contact: Craig Brierley
c.brierley@wellcome.ac.uk
44-207-611-7329
Wellcome Trust
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?
2. Diverse genetic abnormalities lead to NF-κB activation in multiple myeloma
3. Many parents at-risk for cancer disclose genetic test results to children
4. Genetics determine optimal drug dose of common anticoagulant
5. Claims of sex-related differences in genetic association studies often not properly validated
6. American College of Medical Genetics responds to new FDA labeling decision for warfarin
7. UNC study questions FDA genetic-screening guidelines for cancer drug
8. Genome study shines light on genetic link to height
9. Selexis Announces Advanced Approach to Maximize Power of Genetic Elements for Rapid Development of High Performance Cell Lines
10. Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
11. Rutgers Genetics receives $7.8 million for autism research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics ... leadership of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., ... addition, members of the original technical leadership team, including ... Vice President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice ... have returned to the company. Dr. Bready ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design company ... as one of the World Economic Forum,s Technology ... companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to manufacture ... the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. The ... Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for their ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Epic Sciences unveiled a liquid biopsy ... PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) ... test has already been incorporated into numerous clinical ... Over 230 clinical trials are investigating ... PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. Drugs targeting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS ... the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, ... proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: