Increased soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) levels in age-related macular degeneration (AMD): A role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of the disease?

Poster Details

First Author: F.Scotti ITALY

Co Author(s):    A. Massacesi   M. Setaccioli   F. Bergamini   S. Maestroni   N. Sidenius   G. Zerbini              

Abstract Details


Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a major cause of central visual loss in aged macular degeneration (AMD).Treating the CNV involve mainly the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs. The pathogenic mechanisms behind the development of AMD are still largely unknown. Chronic inflammation has been recently suggested as a possible predisposing factor for the development of AMD, but data in this field are still incomplete in particular because soluble urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor (suPAR), a key biomarker of systemic inflammation has never been investigated in this disease.


Dapartment of Ophthalmology, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan Complications of Diabetes Unit, Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy


To clarify whether a systemic inflammation could be involved in the pathogenesis of AMD, we have measured the concentrations of suPAR in the plasma of 40 individual affected by AMD (the blood sample was performed just before the beginning of anti-VEGF treatment) and in 52 age and gender-matched healthy controls (74.5±1.4 vs 73.2±0.9 years±SE, p=NS).


As a result, a significant increase of plasmatic suPAR (6.19±0.29 vs 5.21±0.26, ng/ml, p=0.01) could be demonstrated in AMD patients, suggesting a possible unbalancing toward a systemic inflammatory status.


Altogether these findings are in line with the possibility that a chronic (reasonably sub-clinical) inflammation could be directly involved in the pathogenesis of AMD. Whether inflammation precedes the development of AMD and, consequently, whether the development of the disease might be prevented or at least postponed by a specific antiinflammatory treatment remains to be clarified.

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