Friend or Foe? Resident Microglia vs Bone Marrow-Derived Microglia and Their Roles in the Retinal Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in elderly patients. The more aggressive exudative form is characterized by abnormal blood-vessel development that occurs beneath the retina as a result of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has emerged as the key mediator of CNV formation; this has led to intensive research on VEGF and the recent approval of anti-VEGF compounds by the US Food and Drug Administration. Despite this successful introduction of anti-angiogenic therapies into the clinical setting, there is still a lack of treatments that definitively reverse damaged vision. Here, we consider the importance of putative molecular targets other than VEGF that might have been underestimated. Emerging cellular mechanisms offer additional opportunities for innovative therapeutic approaches.