Preventing scarring to reduce complications from glaucoma surgeries

Hiroshi Nakamura, MD, PhD
Summa Health System (Akron, OH)
Year Awarded:
2006
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2009
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$90,000
Grant Reference ID:
G2006014
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
US Midwestern

Suppression of Ocular Scarring by RNA Interference

Summary

This project proposes to employ RNA interference (RNAi) technology to target CTGF. It is hoped that silencing of the growth factor will help block the scarring action. The efficacy and consequence of the siRNAs will be studied in cultured conjunctival fibroblasts.

Details

Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is an important mediator of wound healing in various tissues. In the eye, CTGF has been implicated in corneal wound healing, and subconjunctival scarring following glaucoma surgery. This project proposes to employ RNA interference (RNAi) technology to target CTGF. It is hoped that silencing of the growth factor will help block the scarring action. The efficacy and consequence of the siRNAs will be studied in cultured conjunctival fibroblasts. Investigation in an ocular inflammation/fibrosis model in mouse will be followed to determine whether downregulation of CTGF would reduce inflammation and scarring. The current proposal is highly significant for its clinical impact since excessive scarring is often a major cause of impaired vision and blindness. Results obtained from this application may lead to novel therapeutic modalities to prevent inflammation and scarring after glaucoma surgery and in eye diseases including corneal opacities.