Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Acute glaucoma discovered to be an inflammatory disease

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
Summary:
Acute glaucoma in mice is largely an inflammatory disease and that high pressure in the eye causes vision loss by setting in motion an inflammatory response similar to that evoked by bacterial infections, researchers have determined. The study has immediate clinical relevance in treating the tens of millions of people worldwide from what is known as acute closed-angle glaucoma.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Sun Yat-sen University in China have shown that acute glaucoma in mice is largely an inflammatory disease and that high pressure in the eye causes vision loss by setting in motion an inflammatory response similar to that evoked by bacterial infections.

The study, published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has immediate clinical relevance in treating the tens of millions of people worldwide from what is known as acute closed-angle glaucoma.

"Our research is the first to show an inflammatory mechanism by which high ocular pressure causes vision loss in acute glaucoma patients," said co-senior author Kang Zhang, MD, PhD and professor of ophthalmology.

The second leading cause of irreversible blindness globally, glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases associated with elevated intraocular pressure broadly classified as either open-angle or closed-angle. Open-angle is sometimes called the silent thief of sight because of its slow, often overlooked progression. By contrast, acute closed-angle glaucoma often is a painful ophthalmologic emergency in which there is a sudden rise in eye pressure and immediate damage to eyesight.

Less than 10 percent of glaucoma patients in America have the closed-angle form, but in parts of Asia it accounts for almost half of all cases. The higher prevalence of closed-angle glaucoma in Asians and women is believed to be due to a shallower anterior (frontal) eye chamber.

In the study, researchers showed that a rapid, sustained large increase in eye pressure in mice turns on a gene (TLR4) that activates a protein known as caspase-8. This signaling protein in turn triggers the production of inflammatory proteins that normally help mammals fight microbial infections.

"This immune response is a double-edge sword because, while these proteins protect us from infection in a normal situation, they stimulate apoptosis (programmed cell death) in retinal cells in cases of acute glaucoma," said Zhang, who is also a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System.

To further confirm the mechanism linking high eye pressure to retinal damage, researchers showed that they could slow retinal cell death in mice with acute glaucoma by suppressing either the TLR4 gene or caspace-8 protein.

The latter is particularly significant because caspace-8 inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for treating cancer and stroke. "By injecting these inhibitors into the eyes of acute glaucoma patients, it may be possible to evaluate and bring them vision-sparing treatments more quickly," said co-author Robert N. Weinreb, MD, chairman and Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. Chi, F. Li, H. Chen, Y. Wang, Y. Zhu, X. Yang, J. Zhu, F. Wu, H. Ouyang, J. Ge, R. N. Weinreb, K. Zhang, Y. Zhuo. Caspase-8 promotes NLRP1/NLRP3 inflammasome activation and IL-1 production in acute glaucoma. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1402819111

Cite This Page:

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Acute glaucoma discovered to be an inflammatory disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714152315.htm>.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. (2014, July 14). Acute glaucoma discovered to be an inflammatory disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714152315.htm
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. "Acute glaucoma discovered to be an inflammatory disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714152315.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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