PGF2alpha, Natriuretic Peptides and IOP
Dr. Hussein is seeking ways that the outflow of aqueous humor in the eye can be regulated through the actions of metalloproteinases (a family of zinc-dependent enzymes) in the trabecular meshwork. He has hypothesized that the enzyme PGF2a reduces intraocular pressure through the release of natriuretic peptides on cells in the anterior segment and the subsequent secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). He hopes to elucidate the effects of PGF2a on the release of natriuretic peptides from cells in the ciliary body, and to describe the effect of these peptides on MMP-secretion in human ciliary muscle cells. He then plans to determine the effects of both PGF2a and natriuretic peptide modulation on the IOP. The long-term goal of this research is to focus on how tissues in the anterior segment of the eye act in a coordinated fashion to regulate intraocular pressure in normal individuals. This will lay the groundwork for subsequent studies investigating how changes in the expression of specific proteins alter these regulatory and cell-signaling events in individuals with glaucoma.