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ARVO 2024: Abnormal subendothelial matrix exacerbates choroidal endothelial cell death in early AMD

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At this year's ARVO meeting, Irene Santiago Tierno, MS, talked with Ophthalmology Times about the paper she presented on how abnormal subendothelial matrix exacerbates choroidal endothelial cell death in early age-related macular degeneration.

At this year's ARVO meeting, Irene Santiago Tierno, MS, talked with Ophthalmology Times about the paper she presented on how abnormal subendothelial matrix exacerbates choroidal endothelial cell death in early age-related macular degeneration.

Video Transcript:

Editor's note: The below transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Irene Santiago Tierno, MS:

Hello, my name is Irene Santiago Tierno. And I am a PhD candidate at the Doheny Eye Institute, UCLA in Dr. Kaustabh Ghosh's lab, and I am here at ARVO 2024. And I presented my talk in abnormal subendothelial matrix exacerbates choroidal endothelial cell death in early age-related macular degeneration.

My presentation brings insights in how the corneal endothelial cells from early AMD, are mechanically abnormal. And these abnormalities in the stiffness of both the cell and the matrix that they secrete contributes to their cell death. That can contribute to the pathogenesis of early AMD leading to wet AMD. So our work is mainly using corneal endothelial cells from rhesus monkey eyes that spontaneously develop early AMD. Most of my work is in vitro, in cell culture. And we use a specific instrument called atomic force microscopy, that allows us to measure the stiffness in these endothelial cells and also the subendothelial matrix that gives us insights of the stiffness of these, both vessels, endothelial cell sub-matrix. Yeah, so our work is more basic science research. So in terms of trying to understand the mechanistic of the background of the disease in early AMD.

So this is very necessary and essential to give insights for future development of therapies in order to understand the mechanisms of how these endothelial cells die [in] the first place. So, so yeah, that will help, advancing the science and future development of therapies. The next step for this research is actually measuring the actual choroidal vessels, the intact choroidal vessels from these early rhesus monkeys that develop early AMD in order to verify, in vivo, the data that we have in vitro.

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