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Researchers find that inhibiting microRNAs may help prevent degenerative eye disorders
Date:6/6/2011

he process becomes imbalanced, however, increased angiogenesis can lead to a variety of debilitating conditions.

Previous treatments for degenerative eye disorders have focused on inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a secreted protein that stimulates blood vessel formation. VEGF has been known to be a contributing factor in vascular disease in the retina of the eye.

Anti-VEGF drugs, which are injected into the eyeball, have been used to give patients some improvement in vision. These drugs, however, have limited effectiveness in treating some forms of neovascular AMD, and also have potential side effects.

Dr. Wang said further research may show that other microRNAs might also be involved, and that targeting multiple pathways may provide benefits in the treatment of these diseases.

"We want to see if a combination of microRNAs and angiogenetic drugs have a synergetic effect on the progression of macular degeneration," Dr. Wang said.

Dr. Eric Olson, chairman of molecular biology, was the study's other co-senior author. Other UT Southwestern researchers involved were Dr. Rafael Ufret-Vincenty, assistant professor of ophthalmology, Dr. Qinbo Zhou, postdoctoral fellow and lead author; Rachel Gallagher, research technician; and Dr. Xinyu Li, a visiting professor.


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Contact: Robin Russell
robin.russell@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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