97th DOG Annual Meeting 1999
NEUROPROTECTIVE STRATEGIES IN THE TREATMENT OF RETINAL DEGENERATIONS
S. Thanos, D. Fischer, M. Pavlidis
Retinal degenerations are etiologically heterogenous diseases, which can be inherited (e.g. dystrophies) or acquired (trauma, glaucoma). The disease can afflict certain retinal areas (e.g. macula), or particular cell types (e.g. retinopathia pigmentosa), and in terms of progression they can show different courses. Common endpoint of many degenerations is a corresponding functional deficit like a reduction of visual acuity or a scotoma. The functional deficits are usually irreversible, because retinal cells like other central nervous elements are not able to regenerate and can not be replaced by similar cells after degeneration. The contemporary concepts of neuroprotection become available. Their activity is heterogeneous and oriented towards the nerve cells or indirectly towards glial cells. Different mechanisms of neuroprotection will be presented and different factors discussed which are associated with ganglion cells. Clinically relevant strategies which are currently developed in animal models, and molecular or cell biological tools will be presented. A particularly suitable concept to be discussed is the somatio genetherapy in retinal diseases.
Dept. of Experimental Ophthalmology, Domagkstraße 15, 48149 Münster