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The structural and functional integrity of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is fundamental for maintaining the function of the neuroretina. These specialized cells form a polarized monolayer that acts as the retinal–blood barrier, separating two distinct environments with highly specialized functions: photoreceptors of the neuroretina at the apical side and Bruch's membrane/highly vascularized choriocapillaris at the basal side. The polarized nature of the RPE is essential for the health of these two regions, not only in nutrient and waste transport but also in the synthesis and directional secretion of proteins required in maintaining retinal homoeostasis and function. Although multiple malfunctions within the RPE cells have been associated with development of age‐related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of legal blindness, clear causative processes have not yet been conclusively characterized at the molecular and cellular level. This article focuses on the involvement of directionally secreted RPE proteins in normal functioning of the retina and on the potential association of incorrect RPE protein secretion with development of AMD. Understanding the importance of RPE polarity and the correct secretion of essential structural and regulatory components emerge as critical factors for the development of novel therapeutic strategies targeting AMD.
Abstract The single radial immunodiffusion assay has been the accepted method for determining the potency of inactivated influenza vaccines since 1978. The world‐wide adoption of this assay for vaccine standardisation was facilitated through collaborative studies that demonstrated a high ... more
Abstract Background Whether morbidity from the 1918‐19 influenza pandemic discriminated by socioeconomic status has remained a subject of debate for 100 years. In lack of data to study this issue recent literature have hypothesized that morbidity was “socially neutral”. Objectives ... more
Smart skin that can respond to external stimuli could have important applications in medicine and robotics. Using only items found in a typical household, researchers have created multi-sensor artificial skin that's capable of sensing pressure, temperature, humidity, proximity, pH, and air ... more
Some doctors may recommend that patients with the flu take acetaminophen, or paracetemol, to relieve their symptoms; however, a new randomized clinical trial found no benefits to the over-the-counter medication in terms of fighting the influenza virus or reducing patients' temperature or ot ... more
A new study that investigated the potential of certain psychological traits for predisposing heterosexuals to have negative attitudes towards homosexual people found that psychoticism - which is present in severe psychopathological conditions but may also contribute to less severe states of ... more