Careful regulation of the complement system is critical for enabling complement proteins to titrate immune defense while also preventing collateral tissue damage from poorly controlled inflammation. In the eye, this balance between complement activity and inhibition is crucial, as a low level of basal complement activity is necessary to support ocular immune privilege, a prerequisite for maintaining vision. Dysregulated complement activation contributes to parainflammation, a low level of inflammation triggered by cellular damage that functions to reestablish homeostasis, or outright inflammation that disrupts the visual axis. Complement dysregulation has been implicated in many ocular diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the last two decades, complement activity has been the focus of intense investigation in AMD pathogenesis, leading to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of atrophic AMD. This Review outlines recent advances and challenges, highlighting therapeutic approaches that have advanced to clinical trials, as well as providing a general overview of the complement system in the posterior segment of the eye and selected ocular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere178296
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2024


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