Role of Glial Cells in Retinal Ganglion Cell Death
One hypothesis for how intraocular pressure leads to vision loss is that the cell damage is the result of increased mechanical forces. Dr. Good has proposed that glial cells within the retina contribute to optic nerve damage by producing toxic molecules (nitric oxide and glutamate). She is testing this hypothesis with an in vitro model of shear stress and strain, where retinal glial cells are deformed to mimic the stress that occurs in living eyes and then measuring the production of toxic compounds. Through these measurements, she hopes to identify factors that contribute to retinal ganglion cell death. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new therapeutic approaches to treating glaucoma.