Models of retinal diseases and their applicability in drug discovery.
INTRODUCTION: The impact of vision debilitating diseases is a global public health concern, which will continue until effective preventative and management protocols are developed. Two retinal diseases responsible for the majority of vision loss in the working age adults and elderly populations are diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), respectively. Model systems, which recapitulate aspects of human pathology, are valid experimental modalities that have contributed to the identification of signaling pathways involved in disease development and consequently potential therapies. Areas covered: The pathology of DR and AMD, which serve as the basis for designing appropriate models of disease, is discussed. The authors also review in vitro and in vivo models of DR and AMD and evaluate the utility of these models in exploratory and pre-clinical studies. Expert opinion: The complex nature of non-Mendelian diseases such as DR and AMD has made identification of effective therapeutic treatments challenging. However, the authors believe that while in vivo models are often criticized for not being a 'perfect' recapitulation of disease, they have been valuable experimentally when used with consideration of the strengths and limitations of the experimental model selected and have a place in the drug discovery process.
Malek, G; Busik, J; Grant, MB; Choudhary, M
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