Suitable Models for Glaucoma Research

C. Ross Ethier, PhD
Imperial College London (London, England)
Year Awarded:
2008
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010
Disease:
Glaucoma
Award Amount:
$100,000
Grant Reference ID:
G2008035
Award Type:
Standard
Award Region:
International
Recipient of the Thomas R. Lee award for National Glaucoma Research
C. Ross Ethier, PhD

Suitability of Hydrostatic Pressure Model for Studying Glaucoma

Summary

It has been previously shown that pressure has important effects on nerve cells in the eye. The way the pressure was applied to the cells in these previous studies may not be suitable for studying what occurs in glaucoma. This project will study whether this way of applying pressure to cells is useful for understanding the response of cells in glaucoma. They will repeat previous experiments, but will remove possible confounding effects. They will also measure oxygen levels and pH near the cells in a novel way that will help determine if the cells are being inadvertently exposed to a toxic environment in these experiments.

Details

The pressure in the eye is elevated in most forms of glaucoma. We know this leads to loss of retinal ganglion cell function, and hence vision loss, but we are not sure how this happens. Recently, investigators have exposed retinal ganglion cells and another supporting cell type (optic nerve head astrocytes) to elevated pressure, and studied their behaviour. They showed that pressure had important effects, but the way the pressure was applied to the cells may not be suitable for studying what occurs in glaucoma. In our research we will study whether this way of applying pressure to cells is useful for understanding the response of cells in glaucoma. To do this we will repeat previous experiments, but in such a way that possible confounding effects are removed from the experiments. We will also make direct measurements of oxygen levels and pH near the cells in a novel way that will help determine if the cells are being inadvertently exposed to a toxic environment in these experiments.

Publications

Y. Lei, S. Rajabi, R. Pedrigi, D. Overby, A.T. Rea and C.R. Ethier, "In vitro models for glaucoma research: Effects of hydrostatic pressure", In press, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, pp. 22 + 9 figs, June 2011. [PMID: nd]
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