The Role of Retinal Pigment Epithelium in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Age Related Macular Degeneration
Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) has a fundamental role in preserving retinal health via supporting and protection of photoreceptors, the establishment of the outer blood-retinal barrier, and engaging in many biochemical reactions. Therefore, RPE malfunction and destruction in disorders such as age-related macular degeneration can eventually result in outer retinal degeneration and permanent loss of vision. Cell-based and gene-based therapies to rectify RPE function are novel approaches to treat disorders, which otherwise considered untreatable. These strategies are particularly effective in patients who still have an acceptable retinal function, and thus should be applied in the early stages of the disease. There are a variety of approaches for RPE replacement therapy and many promising target gene therapy. There is still a long way to establish the best method in this regard. This review focused on the role of RPE in the pathogenesis of retinal disorders and also the role of cell or gene therapy in the management of retinal disorders.
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