Characterizing the Endothelin System in Glaucoma
Co-Principal InvestigatorsSimon John, PhD The Jackson Laboratory
No therapies are available that target neuronal death in glaucoma. Here, we assess an important pathway, the Endothelin System, to better understand the mechanisms of neuronal cell death. Endothelins are normally thought to influence, blood pressure. However, this work could lead to the development of improved therapies for human glaucoma.
Glaucoma affects 70 million people worldwide. It is caused by the death of retinal ganglion cells, the output neurons of the retina. No treatments are available that target neuronal death in glaucoma as the mechanisms involved are unclear. We and others have good evidence for an important role of the Endothelin System in glaucoma but the full importance is not known. We will use a mouse model of heritable glaucoma to fully characterize key members of the Endothelin System at different stages of glaucoma. We will concentrate on very early stages of glaucoma, prior to significant neuronal cell loss. In addition, we will assess glaucoma in mice deficient in a key member of the Endothelin System, Endothelin-2. This work has the potential to lead to improved therapies for human glaucoma.