The Role of MicroRNAs in Regulating Aqueous Humor Outflow

Yuan Lei, PhD Eye and ENT Hospital of Fudan University


The most effective therapy for glaucoma is reducing eye pressure, but it is not understood how the pressure in the eye is regulated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are very small genetic sequences that can regulate the expression of many genes. In fact, a single miRNA is so powerful that it can modulate several genes. The aim of this project is to understand the role of a very important miRNA in regulating intraocular pressure (IOP). This may be a very effective new way to treat elevated eye pressure in glaucoma.   

Project Details

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is an irreversible eye blinding disease. Schlemm’s canal (SC) inner wall and juxtacanalicular (JCT) tissue are thought to be the sites of major aqueous outflow resistance, which is responsible for elevated eye pressure characteristic of many cases of POAG. Therefore it is important to understand how SC cells regulate eye pressure. Our early work suggest that miRNAs participate eye pressure regulation, it this project we will use molecular biology and pharmacology techniques to understand the mechanism of such regulations. This work might pave the way to the discovery of a new pathway that controls IOP.