Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Finding a protective mechanism for retinal cells could save sight

Date:
November 17, 2009
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Determining what triggers the death of retinal cells, called photoreceptors, could hold the key to stopping blinding disorders caused by a wide range of eye diseases, researchers report.

Determining what triggers the death of retinal cells, called photoreceptors, could hold the key to stopping blinding disorders caused by a wide range of eye diseases, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the November journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

Related Articles


Several blinding disorders are known to cause the breakdown of photoreceptors. Caroline Zeiss, associate professor of comparative medicine and ophthalmology at Yale School of Medicine, and her colleagues sought to identify a mechanism in photoreceptors that could be targeted to prolong their survival. Using preserved animal and human retinal tissue, they studied different diseases with a range of genetic mutations that caused photoreceptor death, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinal pigmentosa.

In the diseases Zeiss and her team studied, photoreceptors died from a variety of causes, but the team found that all of the diseases had one common element -- activation of a family of molecules called CREB1/ATF1. It was unclear, however, whether CREB1/ATF1 contributed to photoreceptor loss, or was an attempt by photoreceptors to delay their death. To differentiate between these two possibilities, the team examined CREB1/ATF1 in retinas treated with a drug known to preserve photoreceptors. Protected photoreceptors expressed much higher amounts than unprotected retinas, suggesting that CREB1/ATF1 was part of the protective mechanism.

"Not only did we find that the drug activated the novel CREB1/ATF1 photoreceptor pathway, but we found that this activation was caused by stress," said Zeiss. "This suggests that CREB/ATF1 may be an innate protective response that could be used to achieve broad spectrum preservation of the retina."

"This is the first time that any protective signal within photoreceptors has been identified across such a broad range of eye diseases," Zeiss added. "By finding a common way in which photoreceptors react to stress, it may be possible to develop new therapies to preserve vision."

Zeiss said the next step in the research is to try to identify drug targets that could activate the CREB1/ATF1 pathway. The team could potentially screen thousands of compounds and look at their ability to turn on CREB1/ATF1 in retinal tissue.

Other authors on the study included William A. Beltran, Heather G. Allore, Elizabeth Johnson, Virginia Towle, Weng Tao, Gregory M. Acland and Gustavo D. Aguirre.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. William A. Beltran, Heather G. Allore, Elizabeth Johnson, Virginia Towle, Weng Tao, Gregory M. Acland, Gustavo D. Aguirre, and Caroline J. Zeiss. CREB1/ATF1 Activation in Photoreceptor Degeneration and Protection. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2009; 50 (11): 5355 DOI: 10.1167/iovs.09-3741

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Finding a protective mechanism for retinal cells could save sight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116131717.htm>.
Yale University. (2009, November 17). Finding a protective mechanism for retinal cells could save sight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116131717.htm
Yale University. "Finding a protective mechanism for retinal cells could save sight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116131717.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins