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Heparan sulfate (HS), a ubiquitous and structurally diverse cell surface polysaccharide and extracellular matrix component, is a factor common to several major eye pathologies. Its multitude of functions and variable distribution among the different ocular tissues makes it an important contributor to a variety of disease states. Although HS facilitates the pathogenesis of many disorders, its role in each varies. Unique functions of HS have been particularly noted in viral and bacterial keratitis and age-related macular degeneration. Combined, these pathologies comprise a large portion of conditions leading to visual impairment worldwide. Given this prevalence of diseases facilitated by HS, it is prudent to take an in-depth look at this compound in the context of these pathologic states. While the initial part of the review will discuss the pathogenic aspects of HS, it is also important to consider the wider implications of such roles for HS. The remainder of the article will specifically address one such implication, the possibility for future use of novel HS-based therapeutics to combat these eye pathologies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Paul J Park, Deepak Shukla. Role of heparan sulfate in ocular diseases. Experimental eye research. 2013 May;110:1-9

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PMID: 23410824

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