Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder of the eye and the third leading cause of blindness worldwide. With a multifactorial etiology, AMD results in progressive loss of central vision affecting the macular region of the eye in elderly. While the prevalence is relatively higher in the Caucasian populations, it has gradually become a major public health issue among the non-Caucasian populations (including Indians) as well due to senescence, rapidly changing demographics and life-style factors. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on large case–control cohorts have helped in mapping genes in the complement cascade that are involved in the regulation of innate immunity with AMD susceptibility. Genes involved with mitochondrial oxidative stress and extracellular matrix regulation also play a role in AMD pathogenesis. Majority of the associations observed in complement (CFH, CFB, C2 and C3) and other (ARMS2 and HTRA1) genes have been replicated in diverse populations worldwide. Gene–gene (CFH with ARMS2 and HTRA1) interactions and correlations with environmental traits (smoking and body mass index) have been established as significant covariates in AMD pathology. In this review, we have provided an overview on the underlying molecular genetic mechanisms in AMD worldwide and highlight the AMD-associated-candidate genes and their potential role in disease pathogenesis.
Volume 99, 2020
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