Regulation of endothelin B receptor expression in glaucomatous optic neuropathy
This study will determine if endothelin receptors produce some of the nerve damage seen in glaucoma. Understanding how endothelin receptors damage nerve cells will provide valuable information for blocking these receptors and protecting nerve cells from further damage. This could lead to development of neuroprotective drugs to effectively treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease in which a select group of nerve cells in the eye undergo cell death. Increase eye pressure due to poor drainage of a fluid inside the eye is a major cause of glaucoma. Hence, most medications for glaucoma are aimed at reducing the pressure within the eye by either better drainage or reducing the rate at which fluid is formed inside the eye. This has proved to be an effective way to treat glaucoma. However, despite reducing the pressure, sometimes the nerve cells in the eye continue to die slowly. It would be very beneficial if we have additional approaches called neuroprotection (meaning: protection of nerve cells) to more effectively treat glaucoma. Scientific studies have shown that there is an increase in a protein called endothelin receptors in glaucoma patients. The proposed study will determine if endothelin receptors produce some of the nerve damage seen in glaucoma. Understanding how endothelin receptors are damaging to nerve cells, will provide valuable information to block these receptors and thereby provide protection to nerve cells in the eye from further damage. This could lead to development of neuroprotection drugs as additional treatments to effectively treat glaucoma.