Investigating the Role of Glatiramer Acetate in Modulating Immune Effector Cells in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

  • Rani, Sweta (Principal Investigator)
  • Kuruppilakath Manikandan, Sreeraj (Team Member)

Project Details


'Age-related macular degeneration' (AMD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the wellbeing of the aging population. Central vision responsible for activities like reading, driving, recognition and distinguishing colours, is affected resulting in distorted or blurred vision. The aging immune system is thought to play a vital role in the pathogenesis of AMD. Fundamentally, AMD is due to failure of repair of the ageing macula by the immune system, which is itself ageing (immunosenescence) and this leads to prolonged and chronic inflammation which over time leads to irreversible damage of the outer retina.

The aim of this project is to investigate the potential therapeutic use of Glatiramer acetate, a synthetic co-polymer that can weakly cross-react with neural autoantigens to safely stimulate the reparative effects of autoreactive T cells, in a murine model of advanced AMD. The laser-induced model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) will assess the modulatory effect of glatiramer on T cells in relation to the key pathological components including the abnormal blood vessel growth, recruitment of bone marrow stem cells, local retinal repair cells (microglia) and scar tissue formation.

This project postulate that glatiramer, by recruiting T cells, will enhance cellular repair and promote preservation of vision. Ultimately this study will lay the basis for identifying innovative therapeutic approaches that will target the novel components of wet AMD. By recruiting T cells, glatiramer is in fact behaving like a vaccine such that the concept of vaccination to prevent AMD becomes a realistic possibility in the future."

Effective start/end date11/11/201904/03/2024


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