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.

Related Articles


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 March 5, 2015 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 March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
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