Anti-VEGF therapy is currently considered the most effective way to treat wet AMD but is highly burdensome for patients. Chitinase-3-like-1 (YKL-40) could serve as an alternative target for wet AMD treatment, as it has been shown to promote microangiogenesis and inflammation.
This study, published in FEBS Open Bio, investigated the role of YKL-40 in wet AMD. The researchers found that the serum expression of YKL-40 was significantly higher in patients with wet AMD than in control patients. Moreover, YKL-40 was found to positively correlate with VEGF expression, indicating a possible contribution to the development of wet AMD.
The YKL-40 levels in mice with laser-induced choroidal neovascularization were found to decrease after intravitreal injection with an anti-YKL-40 antibody. The researchers concluded that anti-YKL-40 antibody inhibition of ERK1/2 pathway activation in the neuroretinal and retinal pigment epithelium and choroid tissues might serve as a novel treatment for wet AMD .
Source: Bin, Y., Liu, Y., Jiang, S., & Peng, H. (2021). Elevated YKL‐40 serum levels may contribute to wet age‐related macular degeneration via the ERK1/2 pathway. FEBS Open Bio. https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.13223