ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related progressive neurodegenerative disease commonly found among elderly. In addition to cognitive and behavioral deficits, vision abnormalities are prevalent in AD patients. Recent studies investigating retinal changes in AD double-transgenic mice have shown altered processing of amyloid precursor protein and accumulation of β-amyloid peptides in neurons of retinal ganglion cell layer (RGCL) and inner nuclear layer (INL). Apoptotic cells were also detected in the RGCL. Thus, the pathophysiological changes of retinas in AD patients are possibly resembled by AD transgenic models. The retina is a simple model of the brain in the sense that some pathological changes and therapeutic strategies from the retina may be observed or applicable to the brain. Furthermore, it is also possible to advance our understanding of pathological mechanisms in other retinal degenerative diseases. Therefore, studying AD-related retinal degeneration is a promising way for the investigation on (1) AD pathologies and therapies that would eventually benefit the brain and (2) cellular mechanisms in other retinal degenerations such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. This review will highlight the efforts on retinal degenerative research using AD transgenic mouse models.
Age 05/2011; 34(3):633-49. · 6.28 Impact Factor