A team of IVR researchers investigated the transcriptional changes in the choroid that occur during macular degeneration. This study published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics (LINK).
In this study, cells from the choroids of AMD and control patients were interrogated with single-cell RNA-sequencing. This allows evaluation of transcriptional activity at the level of individual cells. They identified dendritic cells as the class of cell that most highly expresses the gene MMP9, which is associated with the development of neovascular AMD. They study also evaluated expression changes between control, early atrophic AMD, and neovascular AMD samples. This analysis identified an increased expression of SPARCL1 in the early AMD samples. This is important as expression of SPARCL1 increases in response to endothelial damage.