Author(s): Wood JP, Osborne NN
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Abstract In age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells are believed to be detrimentally affected. It is thought that zinc may play a part in this process. In the past, therefore, zinc supplementation has been suggested as a treatment for AMD. Experimental data shown here confound this view by indicating that whereas low amounts of zinc do protect RPE cells in culture from stress-induced effects, greater amounts of zinc have the opposite influence. These effects are partly dependent upon the "health status" of the cells. Experimental data presented herein also show that zinc-induced death of RPE cells can, however, be attenuated by compounds such as antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol, trolox, and metipranolol), or cellular energy substrates (pyruvate and oxaloacetate). It is therefore concluded that a combination of zinc and antioxidants or energy substrates rather that zinc alone should provide a safer and more effective way to treat a disease such as AMD.
This article was published in Neurochem Res
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacovigilance