Nerve growth factor (NGF) plays a crucial role in retinal disorders, as suggested by in vitro/in vivo models. The major effect embraces the neuroprotective activity on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) undergoing degeneration, as observed in experimental diabetic retinopathy, age-related and diabetic macular degeneration, and some vitreoretinal diseases. Focused experiments suggested that locally applied NGF (intravitreal delivery) not only allowed the counteraction of RGC degeneration but also provided data for a whole retina restoration. The currently available retinal microsurgery allows the collection of human aqueous and more interesting vitreous (vitreal reflux) humors. The recent biomolecular analysis highlights the possibility to identify disease-associated biomarkers and allow the monitoring of retinal impairments with sustain to the retinal imaging. Coupled to other soluble mediators, NGF has been quantified in aqueous (slightly expressed) from diabetic retinopathy-suffering patients (cataract surgery) and vitreal reflux (significantly impaired) of diabetic macular degeneration-suffering patients (intravitreal surgery). Although the reasons of these NGF impairments are not fully comprehended, some retinal cells (glial cells, bipolar neurons, and RGCs) have been recognized partially responsible for these local changes.Taken together, the recent progress in the ocular microsurgeries might be associated with sampling of small amount of ocular humors, allowing the collection of biochemical information about diseased retina and the monitoring of treatment. The chance to detect NGF and likewise other neuroprotective or pro-/anti-inflammatory factors in these fluids would open to the possibility to identify biomarkers of early diagnosis or monitoring of retinal disease evolution/therapy (precision medicine).
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.