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Major breakthrough in understanding of AMD pathology shows link between complement factor H (CFH) and oxidative stress

A research team, based at the Centre for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), Austrian Academy of Sciences, has achieved a major breakthrough in the understanding of how certain alleles of complement factor H (CFH) increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The report on the research team’s findings, published in the journal Nature, fill in a considerable part of the CFH story originally discovered by a number of research groups in 2005. The new research identifies malondialdehyde (“MDA”) – a decomposition product of lipid peroxidation – as a ligand of CFH which may now explain how the original risk association operates at a molecular level. More critically, the new research shows how normal CFH may prevent MDA-mediated inflammation in RPE and macrophage cells giving rise to opportunities for therapeutic intervention.