Article

Glaucoma and optic nerve repair.

Department of Neurology, Experimental Neurology, Heinrich Heine University, Merowingerplatz 1a, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Cell and Tissue Research (Impact Factor: 3.68). 03/2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00441-013-1596-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and causes progressive visual impairment attributable to the dysfunction and death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Progression of visual field damage is slow and typically painless. Thus, glaucoma is often diagnosed after a substantial percentage of RGCs has been damaged. To date, clinical interventions are mainly restricted to the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP), one of the major risk factors for this disease. However, the lowering of IOP is often insufficient to halt or reverse the progress of visual loss, underlining the need for the development of alternative treatment strategies. Several lines of evidence suggest that axonal damage of RGCs occurs primary at the optic nerve head, where axons appear to be most vulnerable. Axonal injury leads to the functional loss of RGCs and subsequently induces the death of the neurons. However, the detailed molecular mechanism(s) underlying IOP-induced optic nerve injury remain poorly understood. Moreover, whether glaucoma pathophysiology is primarily axonal, glial, or vascular remains unclear. Therefore, protective strategies to prevent further axonal and subsequent soma degeneration are of great importance to limit the progression of sight loss. In addition, strategies that stimulate injured RGCs to regenerate and reconnect axons with their central targets are necessary for functional restoration. The present review provides an overview of the context of glaucoma pathogenesis and surveys recent findings regarding potential strategies for axonal regeneration of RGCs and optic nerve repair, focusing on the role of cytokines and their downstream signaling pathways.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
222 Views
  • Source
    Cell and Tissue Research 06/2013; · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Glaucoma, a chronic progressive neuropathy and the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, is commonly treated by medication or surgery aimed at lowering intraocular pressure. In view of the limited therapeutic options, the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) sponsored two Think Tank Meetings with the goal of assessing the current status and the overall perspectives for neuroprotective treatment strategies in glaucoma. The results of the meetings are summarized in this EGS White Paper.
    Cell and Tissue Research 05/2013; · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Axonal injury in the optic nerve is associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration and irreversible loss of vision. However, inflammatory stimulation (IS) by intravitreal injection of Pam3Cys transforms RGCs into an active regenerative state enabling these neurons to survive injury and to regenerate axons into the injured optic nerve. Although morphological changes have been well studied, the functional correlates of RGCs transformed either into a de- or regenerating state at a sub-cellular level remain unclear. In the current study, we investigated the signal propagation in single intraretinal axons as well as characteristic activity features of RGCs in a naive, a degenerative or a regenerative state in ex vivo retinae 1 week after either optic nerve cut alone (ONC) or additional IS (ONC + IS). Recordings of single RGCs using high-density microelectrode arrays demonstrate that the mean intraretinal axonal conduction velocity significantly decreased within the first week after ONC. In contrast, when ONC was accompanied by regenerative Pam3Cys treatment the mean intraretinal velocity was undistinguishable from control RGCs, indicating a protective effect on the proximal axon. Spontaneous RGC activity decreased for the two most numerous RGC types (ON- and OFF-sustained cells) within one post-operative week, but did not significantly increase in RGCs after IS. The analysis of light-induced activity revealed that RGCs in ONC animals respond on average later and with fewer spikes than control RGCs. IS significantly improved the responsiveness of the two studied RGC types. These results show that the transformation into a regenerative state by IS preserves, at least transiently, the physiological functional properties of injured RGCs.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:38. · 4.47 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
111 Downloads
Available from
May 21, 2014