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A Review of Last Decade Developments on Epiretinal Membrane Pathogenesis

Eleni Tsotridou, Eleftherios Loukovitis, Konstantinos Zapsalis, Iro Pentara, Solon Asteriadis, Paris Tranos, Zachos Zachariadis, George Anogeianakis


Epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a pathologic tissue that develops at the vitreoretinal interface. ERM is responsible for pathological changes of vision with varying degrees of clinical significance. It is either idiopathic or secondary to a wide variety of diseases such as proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). A great variation in the prevalence of idiopathic ERM among different ethnic groups proposed that genetic and lifestyle factors may play a role in ERM occurrence. Histopathological studies demonstrate that various cell types including retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells, fibrocytes, fibrous astrocytes, myofibroblast-like cells, glial cells, endothelial cells (ECs) and macrophages, as well as trophic and transcription factors, including transforming growth factor (TGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) etc., are directly or indirectly involved in the pathogenesis of  idiopathic or secondary ERMs. These processes are driven (on the last count) by more than 50 genes, such as Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), CCL2 ((chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2)), MALAT1, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, VEGF and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), some of which have been studied more intensely than others. The present paper tried to summarize, highlight and cross-correlate the major findings made in the last decade on the function of these genes and their association with different types of cells, genes and gene expression products in the ERM formation.


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