Autoantibody-induced apoptosis as a possible mechanism of autoimmune retinopathy

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90 Scopus citations


Circulating antibodies specific to retinal proteins have been associated with retinal dysfunction in patients with retinopathy. Anti-recoverin antibodies found in patients with cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) represent a unique model to study the relationship between retinal degeneration and autoimmunity. A body of evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies indicates that anti-recoverin autoantibodies are cytotoxic to retinal cells and induce apoptotic death of retinal photoreceptor cells, which leads to the degeneration of the photoreceptor cell layer. Similar to anti-recoverin autoantibodies, antibodies with other retinal specificities induce their target retinal cell death by activating a caspase 3-dependent apoptotic pathway. Thus, autoantibody-induced apoptosis may be a common pathway that leads to retinal death and blindness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Apoptosis
  • Enolase
  • Paraneoplastic
  • Recoverin
  • Retinopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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