Retinal pigment epithelium, age-related macular degeneration and neurotrophic keratouveitis

Enrica Bianchi, Fabio Scarinci, Guido Ripandelli, Janos Feher, Elena Pacella, Giuseppe Magliulo, Corrado Balacco Gabrieli, Rocco Plateroti, Pasquale Plateroti, Fiorenzo Mignini, Marco Artico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of impaired vision and blindness in the aging population. The aims of our studies were to identify qualitative and quantitative alterations in mitochondria in human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) from AMD patients and controls and to test the protective effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a known neurotrophic and antiangiogenic substance, against neurotrophic keratouveitis. Histopathological alterations were studied by means of morphometry, light and electron microscopy. Unexpectedly, morphometric data showed that the RPE alterations noted in AMD may also develop in normal aging, 10-15 years later than appearing in AMD patients. Reduced tear secretion, corneal ulceration and leukocytic infiltration were found in capsaicin (CAP)-treated rats, but this effect was significantly attenuated by PEDF. These findings suggest that PEDF accelerated the recovery of tear secretion and also prevented neurotrophic keratouveitis and vitreoretinal inflammation. PEDF may have a clinical application in inflammatory and neovascular diseases of the eye.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Electron microscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Lipofuscin
  • Mitochondria
  • Morphometry
  • Peroxisomes
  • Pigment epithelium-derived factor
  • Retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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