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Retinal ischemic diseases and promising therapeutic molecular targets.

Retinal ischemia is a fundamental pathologic condition associated with retinal vascular occlusion, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. Extensive inflammation, redox imbalance, apoptosis, and abnormal vascular formation in retinal ischemia could lead to visual impairments. Developing or finding effective treatments is urgently needed to protect the eye against retinal ischemia and related damage. To address the demand, we have searched for promising therapeutic molecular targets in the eye (e.g., hypoxia-inducible factor [HIF], peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha [PPARα], and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide [NAD+ ]), and found that modulations of each molecular target might protect the eye against retinal ischemic damage in terms of complex pathologic mechanisms. In the current article, we review and update the therapeutic evidence of modulation of HIF, PPARα, or NAD+ and discuss future directions for developing promising drugs based on these molecular targets. This summary urges research to obtain more solid evidence of each molecular target in retinal ischemic diseases.

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