CHAPTER 8: Beyond Anti-inflammation: Steroid-induced Neuroprotection in the Retina
Published:13 Sep 2018
A. C. Wyse-Jackson, G. Groeger, and T. G. Cotter, in Therapies for Retinal Degeneration: Targeting Common Processes, ed. E. J. de la Rosa and T. G. Cotter, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018, pp. 113-143.
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Steroids are routinely used to treat inflammation throughout the human body. Indeed, for decades, glucocorticoids have been used to reduce inflammatory processes in retinal eye disease. Most recently, their direct protective effects on photoreceptors has been investigated, although the evidence surrounding this neuroprotection is conflicting. Alternatively, the sex steroids oestrogen and progesterone have been shown conclusively to promote photoreceptor cell survival; yet retinal administration in a clinical setting has still to commence. This review chapter collates the most up to date and relevant information to determine whether these steroid groups protect photoreceptors via similar signalling pathways. Routes of administration and mechanisms of action are detailed, to determine if lessons learnt from one group may be applied to the other. Through this comparison, we demonstrate that there is great potential in developing these steroids as neuroprotective therapies for retinal degenerative diseases.