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- PublicationThe Role of Mitochondria in Optic Atrophy With Autosomal InheritanceOptic atrophy (OA) with autosomal inheritance is a form of optic neuropathy characterized by the progressive and irreversible loss of vision. In some cases, this is accompanied by additional, typically neurological, extra-ocular symptoms. Underlying the loss of vision is the specific degeneration of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) which form the optic nerve. Whilst autosomal OA is genetically heterogenous, all currently identified causative genes appear to be associated with mitochondrial organization and function. However, it is unclear why RGCs are particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial aberration. Despite the relatively high prevalence of this disorder, there are currently no approved treatments. Combined with the lack of knowledge concerning the mechanisms through which aberrant mitochondrial function leads to RGC death, there remains a clear need for further research to identify the underlying mechanisms and develop treatments for this condition. This review summarizes the genes known to be causative of autosomal OA and the mitochondrial dysfunction caused by pathogenic mutations. Furthermore, we discuss the suitability of available in vivo models for autosomal OA with regards to both treatment development and furthering the understanding of autosomal OA pathology.
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