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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2014, Article ID 582842, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/582842
Review Article

Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Insights into Inflammatory Genes

1Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, School of Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
2UOSD Retinal Pathology PTV Foundation “Policlinico Tor Vergata”, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
3Molecular Genetics Laboratory UILDM, Santa Lucia Foundation, Via Ardeatina 354, 00142 Rome, Italy

Received 31 July 2014; Revised 23 October 2014; Accepted 23 October 2014; Published 12 November 2014

Academic Editor: Haoyu Chen

Copyright © 2014 Raffaella Cascella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects approximately 8.7% of elderly people worldwide (>55 years old). AMD is characterized by a multifactorial aetiology that involves several genetic and environmental risk factors (genes, ageing, smoking, family history, dietary habits, oxidative stress, and hypertension). In particular, ageing and cigarette smoking (including oxidative compounds and reactive oxygen species) have been shown to significantly increase susceptibility to the disease. Furthermore, different genes (CFH, CFI, C2, C3, IL-6, IL-8, and ARMS2) that play a crucial role in the inflammatory pathway have been associated with AMD risk. Several genetic and molecular studies have indicated the participation of inflammatory molecules (cytokines and chemokines), immune cells (macrophages), and complement proteins in the development and progression of the disease. Taking into consideration the genetic and molecular background, this review highlights the genetic role of inflammatory genes involved in AMD pathogenesis and progression.