2009 Volume 217 Issue 1 Pages 17-22
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of vision loss. AMD has been classified into two forms: atrophic and exudative forms. The exudative form is associated with choroidal neovascularization of the subretinal macular region, resulting in a sudden loss of central vision. However, the exact cause of AMD remains unknown. Several risk factors have been postulated, including smoking, atherosclerosis, and low levels of antioxidant enzymes. Malondialdehyde (MDA), a lipid peroxidation product, is used as a marker of oxidative stress. Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) metabolizes lipid peroxides and prevents oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. Increased levels of homocysteine may cause vascular endothelial injury by releasing free radicals. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships between serum PON1 activity and the serum levels of homocysteine and MDA in AMD. Forty patients with exudative-type AMD (63.3 ± 5 years) and 40 controls (61± 4 years) were assessed in a cross-sectional study. The serum PON1 activity was significantly lower in the patients with AMD than that in the controls (p < 0.001). In contrast, the serum levels of MDA and homocysteine were significantly higher in the patients than those in the controls (p < 0.001, for both). In AMD patients, significant negative correlation was found between PON1 activity and MDA level (r = −0.493, p < 0.05) and between PON1 activity and homocysteine level (r = −0.557, p < 0.05). Increased serum homocysteine and MDA levels may be responsible for the decreased PON1 activity in patients with AMD.