A study published online in the¬†Journal of Cellular Physiology suggests that fluctuations in sex steroid homeostatis may have a direct impact on eye physiology and on eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
Researchers from Temple University's Sbarro Institute were looking to determine whether male gender can be considered a risk factor in developing age-related retinal disease including age-related macular degeneration. Researchers exposed retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prolonged estrodiol and progesterone.
Results showed that prolonged estrodiol treatment caused RPE cell death. The clinical significance of the study is that it demonstrates sex steroid fluctuations as triggers of environmental changes in the retina that can cause pathological changes that occur with aging within the eye.*