Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly in developed countries. Neovascular AMD (nAMD) accounts for 90% of AMD-related vision loss. Although intravitreal injection of VEGF inhibitors can improve vision in nAMD, approximately 1/3 of patients do not benefit from the therapy due to macular fibrosis. The molecular mechanism underlying the transition of the neovascular lesion to a fibrovascular phenotype remains unknown. Here we discussed the clinical features and risk factors of macular fibrosis secondary to nAMD. Myofibroblasts are key cells in fibrosis development. However, fibroblasts do not exist in the macula. Potential sources of myofibroblast precursors, the molecular cues in the macular microenvironment that recruit them and the pathways that control their differentiation and activation in macular fibrosis were also discussed. Furthermore, we highlighted the challenges in macular fibrosis research and the urgent need for better animal models for mechanistic and therapeutic studies.
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Macular fibrosis
- Risk factors