The role of microglia in age-related macular degeneration
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AMD is a major cause of vision loss in the older community. Recent work has indicated that inappropriate activation of the immune response may play a role in the development of AMD. Retinal microglia, the resident immune cells within the retina, are thought to play two alternative roles-one being neuroprotective and the other resulting in exacerbation of neuronal death. Using a model system in which a major signalling mechanism has been knocked out in retinal microglia, we will investigate whether these microglia are critical in both protection of retinal neurons and what factors are altered that result in death. This project will involve the use of a wide range of techniques such as immunocytochemistry, molecular biology and in vitro cell culture.
Figure 1: Microglia respond to therapeutic laser treatment.
Retinal microglia (pink cell bodies) extend processes (red) towards the outer retina in response to laser treatment. Photoreceptor terminals and outer segments are stained green.
Dr Andrew Jobling, Senior Research Officer
National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia
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