Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye disease that impairs central vision among elderly populations in Western, industrialized countries. In this review we will focus on the role of factor D (FD) and lutein in AMD. FD is a rate-limiting enzyme of the alternative complement activation pathway that may play an important role in the development of AMD. Several independent studies have shown a significant increase in the level of a number of complement factors of the alternative pathway, including factor D in the blood of AMD patients as compared to healthy individuals, which suggests a systemic involvement in the pathogenesis of AMD. FD, also called adipsin, is mainly produced by adipose tissue. Besides playing a role in the activation of the alternative pathway, FD is also known to regulate the immune system. Of interest is our preliminary finding that lutein supplementation of early AMD cases was shown to lower the level of systemic FD. If confirmed, these findings provide further support for the application of anti-factor D intervention as a new approach to control the development of this disease.
Tian, Y., Kijlstra, A., Webers, C. A. B., & Berendschot, T. T. J. M. (2015). Lutein and Factor D: Two intriguing players in the field of age-related macular degeneration. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 572, 49-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2015.01.019