July 2018
Volume 59, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2018
MicroRNA and Retinal Degeneration - Understanding Mechanisms to Find Treatments
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Riccardo Natoli
    The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    ANU Medical School, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Riccardo Natoli, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NHMRC Project Grant: 1127705
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 1612. doi:
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      Riccardo Natoli; MicroRNA and Retinal Degeneration - Understanding Mechanisms to Find Treatments. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):1612.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Presentation Description : MicroRNA (miRNA) are a class of endogenously expressed small non-coding RNA molecules that function by repressing or silencing post transcriptional gene expression. While miRNAs were only identified in humans at the turn of this century, some miRNA-based agents are already in clinical trials. This rapid progress from initial discovery to drug development reflects the effectiveness of miRNAs as therapeutic targets. This is in part because a single miRNA can regulate multiple genes and even shut down entire pathways due to miRNA/mRNA interactions in the conserved regions of mRNA. Despite 300 miRNA reportedly expressed in the human retina, relatively little research has been conducted into the therapeutic potential of miRNA in the treatment of retinal degeneration. We have shown that retinal expressed miRNA known to be involved in aging, mitochondrial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory processes are regulated during retinal degenerations. Further we have demonstrated the therapeutic use of miRNA delivered via intraocular injections to slow photoreceptor cell loss, decrease inflammation and improve retinal function. In this presentation I will discuss new developments in miRNA research, the use of miRNA as therapeutics for retinal degenerations, and how miRNA research can enhance our understanding of disease mechanisms that contribute to increased inflammation and oxidative stress.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.

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