Macrophages in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: friends or foes?

Eye (Lond). 2009 Apr;23(4):747-55. doi: 10.1038/eye.2008.206. Epub 2008 Jul 4.


The events that lead to choroidal neovascularization in eyes with age-related macular degeneration are poorly understood. One possibility that has been explored in a number of studies is that macrophages can promote neovascular changes. In this paper, we summarize the evidence for inflammation in general and macrophages in particular in pathologic neovascularization, and discuss how the diverse functions of these cells may promote or inhibit macular disease. We also discuss some of the conflicting findings regarding the role of macrophages in experimental choroidal neovascularization in mouse models, and suggest areas for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choroid / immunology
  • Choroid / pathology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / immunology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / pathology*
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Macular Degeneration / immunology
  • Macular Degeneration / pathology*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Mice