Mechanisms of Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Glaucoma
Neeraj Agarwal, PhD University of North Texas
In a project funded previously by NGR, Dr. Agarwal created a retinal ganglion cell (RGC) line to be used in further research. He is now utilizing the cell line in an in-vitro experiment in which the cells are deprived of a growth factor to see how this affects apoptosis (cell death) in RGCs. His hypothesis is that growth factor deprivation will cause the cells to further decrease the production of autocrine (self-produced) growth factors. He will then attempt to determine if the in vitro model of cell death involves activation of the caspases that are thought to be central to RGC apoptosis in vivo. If the new cell line duplicates the known effects of growth factor deprivation already observed in animals, this cell line will be highly useful for further experimentation on the process of cell death in glaucoma.