Schlemm's Canal Basal Lamina: A Variable Resistor?

Haiyan Gong, MD, PhD
Trustees of Boston University (Boston, MA)
Year Awarded:
2001
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2001 to March 31, 2003
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$69,850
Grant Reference ID:
G2001028
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
US Northeastern

Schlemm's Canal Basal Lamina: A Variable Resistor?

Details

Used aqueous humor leaves the eye through a specially designed filtration tissue known as the trabecular meshwork (TM). The part of this filter with the finest mesh is called the Juxtacanalicular region or simply the JCT. After flowing through the JCT, aqueous humor passes through the cells of the inner wall lining Schlemm's canal into the venous system. Most clinicians and most researchers believe that the principal site of the resistance to aqueous humor outflow is between the inner aspects of the JCT and the lumen of Schlemm's canal. Dr. Gong is focusing on the possible role of the basement membrane of Schlemm's canal in fluid outflow resistance. The basement membrane of Schlemm' s canal exhibits focal discontinuities. She has hypothesized that the normal flow of fluid might "dissolve" little holes in the basement membrane, because the basement membrane becomes more discontinuous in normal eyes when the flow pressure is increased. She is now investigating whether these changes fail to occur in glaucomatous eyes. If this is the case, a new cause for increased flow resistance will have been identified, setting the stage for additional studies to understand the molecular basis for increased resistance.
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