An adeno-associated virus-directed overexpression of the Brn3b protein in hypothesised to confer neuroprotective effects in this paper. This is ultimately tested in a well-accepted rat glaucoma model (Morrison’s model: saline injection into episcleral veins of rat eyes with a force sufficient to blanch the aqueous plexus with subsequent scarring of the trabecular meshwork). Viral transduction was firstly demonstrated by increased levels of Brn3b in primary retinal ganglion cell cultures, retinal explants and in the retina and optic nerve head of the rats with induced glaucoma. Neuroprotective effects in the experimental rat glaucoma model was indicated by increased survival of retinal ganglion cell counts and optomotor testing to represent visual function. Furthermore, the group demonstrated modest increased levels of GAP-43; a regulator of axon outgrowth, suggestive of increased neuronal plasticity. This was further supported by the suggestion of restoration of axonal transport which is usually disrupted in IOP-elevated rats eyes; shown by the presence of Alexa conjugated cholera toxin B (an anterograde transport tracer dye). Overall, this is a comprehensive well thought out paper with good promise for clinical translation.

Neuroprotective effect of transcription factor Brn3b in an ocular hypertension rat model of glaucoma.
Stankowska DL, Minton AZ, Rutledge MA, et al.
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Wai Siene Ng

University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

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