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International Journal Of Bilogical Sciences

.: Home > International Journal Of Bilogical Sciences > 2016 > Volume 12 Number 11 > Peiwei Chai*, Hongyan Ni*, He Zhang#, Xianqun Fan#

The Evolving Functions of Autophagy in Ocular Health: A Double-edged Sword

Peiwei Chai*, Hongyan Ni*, He Zhang#, Xianqun Fan#
Department of Ophthalmology, Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, P.R. China. *These authors contributed equally to this paper. #These authors are co-corresponding authors of this paper.  Corresponding authors: He Zhang, Ph.D., Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200025, P.R. China, E-mail: zhanghe@sjtu.edu.cn; Or Xianqun Fan, M.D, Ph.D., Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200025, P.R. China, E-mail: drfanxianqun@126.com.
Abstract :

Autophagy plays an adaptive role in cell survival, development, differentiation and intracellular homeostasis. Autophagy is recognized as a ‘self-cannibalizing’ process that is active during stresses such as starvation, chemotherapy, infection, ageing, and oxygen shortage to protect organisms from various irritants and to regenerate materials and energy. However, autophagy can also lead to a form of programmed cell death distinct from apoptosis. Components of the autophagic pathway are constitutively expressed at a high level in the eye, including in the cornea, lens, retina, and orbit. In addition, the activation of autophagy is directly linked to the development of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy (DR), glaucoma, photoreceptor degeneration, ocular tumours, ocular infections and thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO). A high level of autophagy defends against external stress; however, excessive autophagy can result in deterioration, as observed in ocular diseases such as ARMD and DR. This review summarizes recent developments elucidating the relationship between autophagy and ocular diseases and the potential roles of autophagy in the pathogenesis and treatment of these diseases.

Keywords :
Autophagy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy, ocular tumours.

Date Deposited : 07 Nov 2016 21:32

Last Modified : 07 Nov 2016 21:32

Official URL: http://www.ijbs.com/v12i11

Volume 12, Number 11, October 2016

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