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Galectins in the Pathogenesis of Common Retinal Disease

Caridi, B; Doncheva, D; Sivaprasad, S; Turowski, P; (2021) Galectins in the Pathogenesis of Common Retinal Disease. Frontiers in Pharmacology , 12 , Article 687495. 10.3389/fphar.2021.687495. Green open access

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Diseases of the retina are major causes of visual impairment and blindness in developed countries and, due to an ageing population, their prevalence is continually rising. The lack of effective therapies and the limitations of those currently in use highlight the importance of continued research into the pathogenesis of these diseases. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a major role in driving vascular dysfunction in retinal disease and has therefore become a key therapeutic target. Recent evidence also points to a potentially similarly important role of galectins, a family of β-galactoside-binding proteins. Indeed, they have been implicated in regulating fundamental processes, including vascular hyperpermeability, angiogenesis, neuroinflammation, and oxidative stress, all of which also play a prominent role in retinopathies. Here, we review direct evidence for pathological roles of galectins in retinal disease. In addition, we extrapolate potential roles of galectins in the retina from evidence in cancer, immune and neuro-biology. We conclude that there is value in increasing understanding of galectin function in retinal biology, in particular in the context of the retinal vasculature and microglia. With greater insight, recent clinical developments of galectin-targeting drugs could potentially also be of benefit to the clinical management of many blinding diseases.

Type: Article
Title: Galectins in the Pathogenesis of Common Retinal Disease
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2021.687495
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.687495
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: VEGF, age-related macula degeneration, angiogenesis, diabetic retinopathy, leakage, retina
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129413
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