Research ArticleRetinal Disease

Senescence-associated secretory phenotype contributes to pathological angiogenesis in retinopathy

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Science Translational Medicine  26 Oct 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 362, pp. 362ra144
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf9440

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Old but deadly

Diabetics often lose their sight, a result of poor blood supply to the retina. Oubaha and colleagues investigated how this oxygen deprivation leads to disease. They found that retinal cells do not simply die when oxygen-starved, rather they become senescent—a state in which the cells secrete a cocktail of undesirable molecules, in mice and humans. These cytokines drive more senescence, encourage abnormal blood vessel formation, and block healthy regeneration. Treatment of mice with a diabetes drug or a senescence inhibitor reduced retinal disease, suggesting that interrupting this process could be therapeutically beneficial.