The specific aims of this proposal are to: 1) examine molecular mechanisms of retinal degenerative diseases using biochemical, molecular biological and physiological techniques; 2) establish retinal disease models of macular degeneration in mice; and 3) use these animal models to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical candidates for human drug development. Our achievements in series of studies with the visual retinoid cycle related retinal degenerative murine models leaded to discover novel disease causing mechanisms and to develop molecules that are strong candidates of treatment options for patients with retinal degenerations including inherited retinal degenerations and AMD (age-related macular degeneration), which is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in elderly people in developed countries, and which affects approximately 1.6 million individuals in the US. Recent ocular medical science succeeded in develop anti-CNV (choroidal neo-vasucularization) therapy with anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) molecules for wet type AMD with CNV growth. However wet type AMD is only limited type of retinal diseases, and no treatment is available for the vast majority of patients who have dry form of AMD and other inherited retinal degenerative diseases. The molecules that we are studying show several beneficial effects on these incurable retinal diseases, and may become a first drug for them. Genetically modified mice will be employed for our study and rigorous evaluations including mechanisms, efficacy and safety of our candidate drugs by biochemical methods such as HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) and mass-spectrometry, and electroretinography, and histological/histocytochemical assessment. Molecular pathogenesis of dry type AMD and inherited retinal degeneration will be also examined with the murine models. My research based on my clinical experience is providing novel and important solutions for patients with currently incurable retinal degenerative diseases. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (08))
Program Officer
Neuhold, Lisa
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Case Western Reserve University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Chen, Yu; Perusek, Lindsay; Maeda, Akiko (2016) Autophagy in light-induced retinal damage. Exp Eye Res 144:64-72
Zhang, Ning; Tsybovsky, Yaroslav; Kolesnikov, Alexander V et al. (2015) Protein misfolding and the pathogenesis of ABCA4-associated retinal degenerations. Hum Mol Genet 24:3220-37
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Kohno, Hideo; Maeda, Tadao; Perusek, Lindsay et al. (2014) CCL3 production by microglial cells modulates disease severity in murine models of retinal degeneration. J Immunol 192:3816-27
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Chen, Yu; Sawada, Osamu; Kohno, Hideo et al. (2013) Autophagy protects the retina from light-induced degeneration. J Biol Chem 288:7506-18
Maeda, Tadao; Lee, Mee Jee; Palczewska, Grazyna et al. (2013) Retinal pigmented epithelial cells obtained from human induced pluripotent stem cells possess functional visual cycle enzymes in vitro and in vivo. J Biol Chem 288:34484-93
Perusek, Lindsay; Maeda, Tadao (2013) Vitamin A derivatives as treatment options for retinal degenerative diseases. Nutrients 5:2646-66
Chen, Yu; Palczewska, Grazyna; Mustafi, Debarshi et al. (2013) Systems pharmacology identifies drug targets for Stargardt disease-associated retinal degeneration. J Clin Invest 123:5119-34

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