Scientific Review – Ophthalmology – Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Understanding the Impact of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Review


Published in: International Journal of Molecular Sciences.


This scientific review delves into collaborative research conducted by teams from Unither Développement Bordeaux alongside partners from various institutions including Université Paris Cité, CNRS, INSERM, UTCBS, Unité de Technologies Chimiques et Biologiques pour la Santé, Département de Recherche et Développement (DRDP), Agence Générale des Equipements et Produits de Santé (AGEPS), Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), as well as the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Western Switzerland (ISPSO) and the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Geneva.


Abstract: Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial ocular pathology that destroys the photoreceptors of the macula. Two forms are distinguished, dry and wet AMD, with different pathophysiological mechanisms. Although treatments were shown to be effective in wet AMD, they remain a heavy burden for patients and caregivers, resulting in a lack of patient compliance. For dry AMD, no real effective treatment is available in Europe. It is, therefore, essential to look for new approaches. Recently, the use of long-chain and very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids was identified as an interesting new therapeutic alternative. Indeed, the levels of these fatty acids, core components of photoreceptors, are significantly decreased in AMD patients. To better understand this pathology and to evaluate the efficacy of various molecules, in vitro and in vivo models reproducing the mechanisms of both types of AMD were developed. This article reviews the anatomy and the physiological aging of the retina and summarizes the clinical aspects, pathophysiological mechanisms of AMD and potential treatment strategies. In vitro and in vivo models of AMD are also presented. Finally, this manuscript focuses on the application of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention and treatment of both types of AMD.

Keywords: retina; photoreceptors; age-related macular degeneration (AMD); polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); omega-3 fatty acids; AMD in vitro models; AMD in vivo models


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