The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: A Mediator and Potential Therapeutic Target for Ocular and Non-Ocular Neurodegenerative Diseases.
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor, which senses environmental, dietary or metabolic signals to mount a transcriptional response, vital in health and disease. As environmental stimuli and metabolic products have been shown to impact the central nervous system (CNS), a burgeoning area of research has been on the role of the AHR in ocular and non-ocular neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we summarize our current knowledge, of AHR-controlled cellular processes and their impact on regulating pathobiology of select ocular and neurodegenerative diseases. We catalogue animal models generated to study the role of the AHR in tissue homeostasis and disease pathogenesis. Finally, we discuss the potential of targeting the AHR pathway as a therapeutic strategy, in the context of the maladies of the eye and brain.
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