As an essential trace element in the body, iron is critical for the maintenance of organismal metabolism. Excessive iron facilitates reactive oxygen species generation and inflicts damage on cells and tissues. Ferroptosis, a newly identified iron-dependent type of programmed cell death, has been implicated in a broad set of metabolic disorders. Ferroptosis is mainly characterized by excess iron accumulation, elevated lipid peroxides and reactive oxygen species, and reduced levels of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase 4. The vast emerging literature on ferroptosis has shown that numerous diseases, such as cancers, neurodegeneration, and autoimmune diseases, are associated with ferroptosis. Meanwhile, recent studies have confirmed the relationship between ferroptosis and eye diseases including keratopathy, cataract, glaucoma, retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury, age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and retinoblastoma, indicating the critical role of ferroptosis in ocular diseases. In this article, we introduce the primary signaling pathways of ferroptosis and review current advances in research on ocular diseases involving iron overload and ferroptosis. Furthermore, several unanswered questions in the area are raised. Addressing these unanswered questions promises to provide new insights into preventing, controlling, and treating not only ocular diseases but also a variety of other diseases in the near future.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.