Friday, February 24, 2017, 12:00– 1:30 pm, in 100 Minor Addition Hall
Optic Nerve Damage in Glaucoma: View from the Cup
Colm O’Brien, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland
Cupping is the characteristic feature of optic nerve damage in glaucoma. Epidemiological risk factors include intraocular pressure and ocular perfusion pressure. The histological hallmark of cupping is remodeling of the extracellular matrix in the lamina cribrosa (LC), and involves astrocytes and LC myofibroblast-like cells. At the cellular level, this process is driven by the pro-fibrotic growth factor TGF beta, cell membrane stretch (mechanotransduction), and oxidative stress. These mechanisms lead to an abnormally elevated cytosolic calcium, intracellular calcium related signaling pathways in glaucoma LC cells, with evidence of altered epigenetic markers. As we improve our knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of optic disc fibrosis/cupping, we may discover new therapeutic treatments for this blinding condition.