Neuroprotection of Retinal Ganglion Cells by VEGF-B
Glaucoma is the most prevalent form of adult optic neuropathy characterized by the degeneration and death of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Molecules with neuroprotective effect on the endangered RGCs are therefore much desired to preserve and rescue the RGCs and thus the vision of glaucoma patients. This research proposal is therefore designed to test in vivo the neuroprotective effect of one such candidate molecule, the vascular endothelium growth factor B (VEGF-B), and to further characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying. VEGF-B has been shown to be a critical neuroprotective factor in the brain. Our current work has shown that VEGF-B may play important roles in the retina. Based on our preliminary studies, we hypothesize that VEGF-B may have a neuroprotective effect on the retinal ganglion cells. To test this hypothesis, we will use multiple approaches and methods, including both normal and VEGF-B transgenic mice, both protein and gene transfer, both gain and loss of function analysis, to investigate the neuroprotective effect of VEGF-B on retinal ganglion cells in vivo. The outcome of this study may lead to possibilities of novel therapy for glaucoma patients and more insight into the course of glaucoma.
First published on: June 10, 2008
Last modified on: June 11, 2008