In January 2010, the Journal of Lipid Research begins a thematic review series that gives a closer look at the lipids and lipid-soluble compounds in the cells and tissues of the vertebrate eye. The series, “Lipids and Lipid Metabolism in the Eye,” will contain 11 articles published from January to November.
The series begins with an article by Raju V. S. Rajala of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Rajala discusses phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in the vertebrate retina. He and his co-workers were the first to show that light in retinal rod receptors regulates the PI3K-dependent pathway in the retina. Improper regulation of PI3K has been implicated in diabetic retinopathy, a common blinding disorder, and, as such, research on the PI3K pathway may lead to therapeutic applications.
Bis-retinoids have been linked to cell death of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a major cause of visual impairment in older adults. In February, Janet Sparrow of Columbia University will publish a look at the formation, physical attributes and possible functions of bis-retinoids in the retina.
In her review for March, Christine A. Curcio of the University of Alabama at Birmingham will look at extracellular lipid deposits that are tell-tale signs of AMD. Evidence indicates that those deposits result from lipoprotein formation and export by RPE cells, which is similar to the more intensively studied process of atherosclerotic lesion formation.
Norma Giusto at Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, in Argentina, will examine retinal rod outer segments. The review will discuss the possible relationship between lipid-dependent signaling events, translocation of important molecules and association/disassociation of membrane proteins.
In the next review, Haydee E. P. Bazan and Sachidananda Kenchgowda of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine will look at the lipids involved in corneal injury and repair mechanisms and how that knowledge may lead to treatments for corneal wound healing.
Mary L. Chang (email@example.com) is managing editor of the Journal of Lipid Research.