Membrane FasL as a Trigger for Pigmentary Glaucoma
Pigmentary glaucoma is one of the most common forms of secondary glaucoma. However, the underlying cause remains unclear. The DBA/2J mouse is an animal model of pigmentary glaucoma and provides us with a unique tool to study the causes of pigmentary glaucoma in order to design improved and targeted treatments. Pigmentary glaucoma in DBA/2J mice is caused when the iris starts to breakdown, releasing particles of “pigment”. Cells of the immune system are activated to clear these pigment particles, causing severe inflammation and blockage of the eyes fluid outflow pathway. Two gene defects are known to cause the release of pigmented particles, resulting in glaucoma. However, there are other unknown factors that contribute to pigmentary glaucoma. This research project will identify one of these previously unknown factors. A unique form of a protein that is expressed in the eye only when pigmentary glaucoma develops has been identified. This protein stimulates inflammation and destroys the fluid outflow system. Completion of this project will identify a new and novel target for treating pigmentary glaucoma.