Recently, an academic paper titled KIT ligand protects against both light-induced and based photoreceptor degeneration, written by Hou Ling team from the State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Optometry and Vision Science, was published in the latest issue of eLife, an international famous flagship journal. With light-induced retinal damage models, based on high-throughput whole transcriptome sequencing analysis combined with the adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene delivery technology and a variety of mouse models with genetic diseases, this study discovers that, upon light damage, the KITL/KIT signaling pathway is activated and inhibits the retinal degeneration by regulating the nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) and the downstream molecule heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1), which provides a potential target for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.
The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang province. This paper is an original result of the free exploration by the researchers of our university. The first author is Li Huirong, an assistant researcher; the second author is Lian Lili, a doctoral student of the School of Ophthalmology and Optometry (class of 2018); and the corresponding authors are Hou Ling and Professor Qu Jia. In addition, the research was supported by Dr. Yang Jinglei from Professor Zhou Xiangtian's team of this key laboratory, Researcher Xu Ying from the Guangdong-Hongkong-Macau Institute of CNS Regeneration of Jinan University, Professor Gao Xiang from Nanjing University, Professor Li Wei from Capital Medical University, and Professor Gu Feng from the key laboratory.