[Neuroprotection of retinal degenerative disease by ciliary neurotrophic factor].
ABSTRACT Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) has been showing neuroprotective effects on photoreceptors in a variety of in vivo and in vitro experiments and clinical trials. CNTF causes morphological and functional alterations in various retinal nerve cells. The neuroprotection mechanism of CNTF involves STAT-dependent, ERK-dependent, and Akt-dependent signaling pathways, in which Müller cells play an important role. Encapsulated cell technology (ECT) device is an efficient administration approach to deliver CNTF into the eyes, which is effective in retarding photoreceptor degeneration in several animal models with retinal degenerative diseases. The safety and efficiency of the device in clinical trials are also being evaluated currently for further clinical use in human eyes as a potential treatment.