Complement Involvement in Neovascular Ocular Diseases

  • Ryoji Yanai
  • Aristomenis Thanos
  • Kip M. Connor
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 946)


Pathological neovascularization (NV) is a hallmark of late stage neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). There is accumulating evidence that alterations in inflammatory and immune system pathways that arise from genetic differences, injury, and disease can predispose individuals to retinal neovascular eye diseases. Yet the mechanism of disease progression with respect to the complement system in these maladies is not fully understood. Recent studies have implicated the complement system as an emerging player in the etiology of several retinal diseases. We will summarize herein several of the complement system pathways known to be involved in ocular neovascular pathologies. Current treatment for many neovascular eye diseases focuses on suppression of NV with laser ablation, photodynamic therapy, or anti-VEGF angiogenic inhibitors. However, these treatments do not address the underlying cause of many of these diseases. A clear understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms could bring a major shift in our approach to disease treatment and prevention.


Complement Oxygen-induced retinopathy Retinopathy of prematurity Choroidal neovascularization Age-related macular degeneration Diabetic retinopathy 



This work was generously supported by the March of Dimes Foundation (Grant No. 5-FY09-535), National Institutes of Health Core Grant (P30EY014104) and Research to Prevent Blindness Unrestricted Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryoji Yanai
    • 1
  • Aristomenis Thanos
    • 1
  • Kip M. Connor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Angiogenesis LaboratoryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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