Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glaucoma's unique protein expression could enhance diagnosis and treatment

Date:
May 4, 2010
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
An eye under pressure appears to express a unique set of proteins that physicians hope will one day help them better diagnose and treat glaucoma.

Dr. Kathryn Bollinger, Medical College of Georgia clinician-scientist specializing in glaucoma, has identified a unique group of proteins expressed in glaucoma that could improve diagnosis and treatment.
Credit: Phil Jones, MCG campus photographer

An eye under pressure appears to express a unique set of proteins that physicians hope will one day help them better diagnose and treat glaucoma.

Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, tends to progress silently until decreased vision indicates trouble, said Dr. Kathryn Bollinger, Medical College of Georgia clinician-scientist specializing in glaucoma.

But inside fluid-filled eyeballs, a changing protein profile -- 30 with significant increases and 17 with significant decreases identified among hundreds of proteins present -- appears to also give a heads-up, Bollinger reported during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting April 30-May 6. The MCG ophthalmologist received the 2010 ARVO/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award for the study.

With glaucoma, elevated pressures inside the eyeball stress the optic nerve and nerve arms -- called axons -- that reach out to communicate with the brain. Over time, increased pressure can kill nerve cells and axons and decrease vision. "At this point, we don't have a regenerative strategy," Bollinger said.

The pressure results from an imbalance in fluid production and loss. In a healthy eye, the fluid, called the aqueous humor, moves continually from the back to the front of the eye where it exits -- mostly via a natural tract between the iris and cornea -- first into spongy tissue near the cornea's base called the trabecular meshwork then into the venous system and back into the body.

In open-angle glaucoma, the most common type in this country, the tract remains open but fluid still backs up and scientists suspect changes in the permeability of the trabecular meshwork may be to blame. Topical glaucoma treatments work by reducing fluid production or increasing outflow through a secondary drainage system, also near the front of the eye. Ophthalmologists such as Bollinger can also create a new pathway surgically if needed.

To get a better picture of what happens to the trabecular meshwork, Bollinger examined tissues from the outflow tracts and trabecular meshwork of patients with and without glaucoma. She added TGF-β, a protein and inflammatory element known as a cytokine that is consistently found at high levels in patients with open-angle glaucoma. After comparing treated and untreated tissue, she found that TGF-β resulted in a similarly unique protein pattern. Current therapies don't target TGF-β or its effects in the trabecular meshwork.

Next steps include identifying additional proteins expressed in glaucoma, determining the impact of the unique protein profile on the trabecular meshwork and clarifyingTGF-β's normal role inside the eye, Bollinger said.

Risk factors for glaucoma include age, a family history and black and Asian ethnicity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Glaucoma's unique protein expression could enhance diagnosis and treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504102120.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2010, May 4). Glaucoma's unique protein expression could enhance diagnosis and treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504102120.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Glaucoma's unique protein expression could enhance diagnosis and treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100504102120.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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