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Lipid metabolites in the pathogenesis and treatment of neovascular eye disease
  1. Andreas Stahl1,2,
  2. Tim U Krohne3,
  3. Przemyslaw Sapieha4,
  4. Jing Chen1,
  5. Ann Hellstrom5,
  6. Emily Chew6,
  7. Frank G Holz3,
  8. Lois E H Smith1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2University Eye Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  3. 3University Eye Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Centre, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  5. 5Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  6. 6Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Lois E H Smith, Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; lois.smith{at}


Lipids and lipid metabolites have long been known to play biological roles that go beyond energy storage and membrane structure. In age-related macular degeneration and diabetes, for example, dysregulation of lipid metabolism is closely associated with disease onset and progression. At the same time, some lipids and their metabolites can exert beneficial effects in the same disorders. This review summarises our current knowledge of the contributions of lipids to both the pathogenesis and treatment of neovascular eye disease. The clinical entities covered are exudative age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity, with a special emphasis on the potential therapeutic effects of ω3- (also known as n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids.

  • Lipids
  • angiogenesis
  • retinopathy
  • age related macular degeneration
  • AMD
  • choroid
  • retina
  • macula
  • angiogenesis
  • experimental animal models

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  • Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (AS); Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (PS); Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JC); NIH (EY017017, EY017017-S1), V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Roche Foundation for Anemia Research, Children's Hospital Boston Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Investigator Award, Alcon Research Institute Award, MacTel Foundation (LEHS).

  • Competing interests None to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.