Molecular mechanisms of retinal pigment epithelium damage and development of age-related macular degeneration

Kati Kinnunen, Goran Petrovski, Morten C. Moe, András Berta, Kai Kaarniranta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

129 Citations (Scopus)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is attributed to a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. It is characterized by degeneration involving the retinal photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane, as well as alterations in choroidal capillaries. AMD pathogenesis is strongly associated with chronic oxidative stress and inflammation that ultimately lead to protein damage, aggregation and degeneration of RPE. Specific degenerative findings for AMD are accumulation of intracellular lysosomal lipofuscin and extracellular drusens. In this review, we discuss thoroughly RPE-derived mechanisms in AMD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012



  • drusen
  • lipofuscin
  • macular degeneration
  • retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this