Susceptibility to glaucoma: differential comparison of the astrocyte transcriptome from glaucomatous African American and Caucasian American donors.
ABSTRACT: Epidemiological and genetic studies indicate that ethnic/genetic background plays an important role in susceptibility to primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is more prevalent among the African-descent population compared to the Caucasian population. Damage in POAG occurs at the level of the optic nerve head (ONH) and is mediated by astrocytes. Here we investigated differences in gene expression in primary cultures of ONH astrocytes obtained from age-matched normal and glaucomatous donors of Caucasian American (CA) and African American (AA) populations using oligonucleotide microarrays.Gene expression data were obtained from cultured astrocytes representing 12 normal CA and 12 normal AA eyes, 6 AA eyes with POAG and 8 CA eyes with POAG. Data were normalized and significant differential gene expression levels detected by using empirical Bayesian shrinkage moderated t-statistics. Gene Ontology analysis and networks of interacting proteins were constructed using the BioGRID database. Network maps included regulation of myosin, actin, and protein trafficking. Real-time RT-PCR, western blots, ELISA, and functional assays validated genes in the networks.Cultured AA and CA glaucomatous astrocytes retain differential expression of genes that promote cell motility and migration, regulate cell adhesion, and are associated with structural tissue changes that collectively contribute to neural degeneration. Key upregulated genes include those encoding myosin light chain kinase (MYLK), transforming growth factor-beta receptor 2 (TGFBR2), rho-family GTPase-2 (RAC2), and versican (VCAN). These genes along with other differentially expressed components of integrated networks may reflect functional susceptibility to chronic elevated intraocular pressure that is enhanced in the optic nerve head of African Americans.
Project description:To determine whether optic nerve head (ONH) astrocytes, a key cellular component of glaucomatous neuropathy, exhibit differential gene expression in primary cultures of astrocytes from normal African American (AA) donors compared to astrocytes from normal Caucasian American (CA) donors.We used oligonucleotide Affymetrix microarray (HG U133A & HG U133A 2.0 chips) to compare gene expression levels in cultured ONH astrocytes from twelve CA and twelve AA normal age matched donor eyes. Chips were normalized with Robust Microarray Analysis (RMA) in R using Bioconductor. Significant differential gene expression levels were detected using mixed effects modeling and Statistical Analysis of Microarray (SAM). Functional analysis and Gene Ontology were used to classify differentially expressed genes. Differential gene expression was validated by quantitative real time RT-PCR. Protein levels were detected by Western blots and ELISA. Cell adhesion and migration assays tested physiological responses. Glutathione (GSH) assay detected levels of intracellular GSH.Multiple analyses selected 87 genes differentially expressed between normal AA and CA (P<0.01). The most relevant genes expressed in AA were categorized by function, including: signal transduction, response to stress, ECM genes, migration and cell adhesion.These data show that normal astrocytes from AA and CA normal donors display distinct expression profiles that impact astrocyte functions in the ONH. Our data suggests that differences in gene expression in ONH astrocytes may be specific to the development and/or progression of glaucoma in AA.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To investigate the relationship between the morphologic features of myopic optic nerve head (ONH) and visual field (VF) defects in myopic subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) by intraindividual comparison.<h4>Methods</h4>Myopic POAG subjects with unilateral glaucomatous VF defect were recruited. The morphologic features of myopic ONH, including optic disc tilt, optic disc rotation, and ?-zone parapapillary atrophy (PPA) were measured from color fundus photographs. The comparisons were performed between the eyes with VF defects and the contralateral eyes without VF defects. Logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between various ocular parameters and the presence of VF defects.<h4>Results</h4>We retrospectively included 100 eyes of 50 myopic POAG subjects. (Mean age: 50.1 ± 10.0 years). The tilt ratio was similar between the paired eyes. The degree of optic disc rotation (12.96 ± 7.21°) in eyes with VF defects were statistically greater than the contralateral eyes (6.86 ± 4.30°; P < 0.001) without VF defect. The ?-zone PPA-to-disc area ratio was significantly greater in eyes with VF defects than the contralateral eyes (P = 0.024) without VF defect. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, the greater degree of optic disc rotation was significantly associated with the presence of VF defects (P < 0.001). However, tilt ratio, ?-zone PPA-to-disc area ratio, refractive error, and axial length were not associated with the presence of VF defects.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Among the morphologic features of myopic ONH, only the greater degree of the optic disc rotation was associated with the presence of VF defects in myopic subjects with POAG.
Project description:Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders including primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) an optic neuropathy characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons and remodeling of the optic nerve head (ONH). Previous findings in glaucomatous astrocytes suggested increased oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation in human optic nerves. We studied the dose and time dependent effects of 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), a by-product of lipid peroxidation, on the viability of primary cultures of human ONH astrocyte. A significant depletion of glutathione (GSH) level was observed in normal astrocytes after exposure to HNE for 1 h and 3 h. Untreated glaucomatous astrocytes exhibited depleted levels of GSH which increased slightly after exposure to HNE. Both normal and glaucomatous astrocytes recovered GSH levels after 24 h of removal of HNE. HNE caused significant increases in expression of antioxidant enzymes, glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC), aldo-keto reductase 1C family member 1 (AKR1C1) and glutathione S-transferase-alpha4 (GSTA4). HNE induced expression of the transcription factor Nrf2, which coordinates the upregulation of detoxification enzymes. In addition, ONH astrocytes responded to HNE by activation and transcription of cFOS and NFkB, which regulate physiological protective responses against oxidative stress. Our results indicate that ONH astrocytes exhibit a strong antioxidant response to HNE treatment by inducing the transcription factors cFOS, NFkB, and Nrf2, which upregulate the expression of GCLC, to produce more GSH in the cell. AKR1C1 was also upregulated after HNE treatment to inactivate HNE, independent of GSH availability in the cells. Collectively these data indicate that ONH astrocytes can efficiently counteract the neurotoxic effects of HNE offering protection in the optic nerve by releasing GSH and antioxidant enzymes to eliminate the products of chronic oxidative stress.
Project description:PURPOSE:To assess optic nerve head (ONH) and peripapillary microvasculature in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) of mild to moderate severity using swept-source optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA). MATERIALS AND METHODS:In a cross-sectional study, swept-source OCTA images were analyzed for 1 eye from each of 30 POAG patients with glaucomatous Humphrey visual field loss and 16 controls. The anatomic boundary of ONH was manually delineated based on Bruch's membrane opening and large vessels were removed from en face angiography images to measure vessel density (VD) and the integrated OCTA by ratio analysis signal (IOS), suggestive of flow, in the ONH and peripapillary region. POAG subgroup analysis was performed based on a history of disc hemorrhage (DH) matched by visual field mean deviation (MD). RESULTS:POAG (mean MD±SD, -3.3±3.0?dB) and control groups had similar demographic characteristics and intraocular pressure on the day of imaging. Groups did not differ in superficial ONH VD or flow indicated by IOS (P?0.28). POAG eyes showed significantly lower VD (39.4%±4.0%) and flow (38.8%±5.6%) in deep ONH, peripapillary VD (37.9%±2.9%) and flow (43.6%±4.0%) compared with control eyes (44.1%±5.1%, 44.7%±6.9%, 40.7%±1.7%, 47.8%±2.5%, respectively; P?0.007 for all). In the subgroup analysis, POAG eyes with (n=14) and without DH (n=16) had similar measured OCTA parameters (P>0.99 for all). CONCLUSIONS:The image processing methodology based on the anatomic boundary of ONH demonstrated compromised microvasculature in the deep ONH and peripapillary region in eyes with mild to moderate POAG, regardless of the history of DH.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To determine the ability of optic nerve head (ONH) parameters measured with spectral domain Cirrus HD-OCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, CA) to discriminate between normal and glaucomatous eyes and to compare them with the discriminating ability of peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurements performed with Cirrus HD-OCT.<h4>Design</h4>Evaluation of diagnostic test or technology.<h4>Participants</h4>Seventy-three subjects with glaucoma and 146 age-matched normal subjects.<h4>Methods</h4>Peripapillary ONH parameters and RNFL thickness were measured in 1 randomly selected eye of each participant within a 200 × 200 pixel A-scan acquired with Cirrus HD-OCT centered on the ONH.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Optic nerve head topographic parameters, peripapillary RNFL thickness, and area under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs).<h4>Results</h4>To distinguish normal from glaucomatous eyes, regardless of disease stage, the 6 best parameters (expressed as AUC) were vertical rim thickness (VRT, 0.963), rim area (0.962), RNFL thickness at clock-hour 7 (0.957), RNFL thickness of the inferior quadrant (0.953), vertical cup-to-disc ratio (VCDR, 0.951), and average RNFL thickness (0.950). The AUC for distinguishing between normal eyes and eyes with mild glaucoma was greatest for RNFL thickness of clock-hour 7 (0.918), VRT (0.914), rim area (0.912), RNFL thickness of inferior quadrant (0.895), average RNFL thickness (0.893), and VCDR (0.890). There were no statistically significant differences between AUCs for the best ONH parameters and RNFL thickness measurements (P > 0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Cirrus HD-OCT ONH parameters are able to discriminate between normal eyes and eyes with glaucoma or even mild glaucoma. There is no difference in the ability of ONH parameters and RNFL thickness measurement, as measured with Cirrus OCT, to distinguish between normal and glaucomatous eyes.
Project description:Abnormal structure and function of astrocytes have been observed within the lamina cribrosa region of the optic nerve head (ONH) in glaucomatous neurodegeneration. Glutamate excitotoxicity-mediated mitochondrial alteration has been implicated in experimental glaucoma. However, the relationships among glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial alteration and ONH astrocytes in the pathogenesis of glaucoma remain unknown. We found that functional N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NRs) are present in human ONH astrocytes and that glaucomatous human ONH astrocytes have increased expression levels of NRs and the glutamate aspartate transporter. Glaucomatous human ONH astrocytes exhibit mitochondrial fission that is linked to increased expression of dynamin-related protein 1 and its phosphorylation at Serine 616. In BAC ALDH1L1 eGFP or Thy1-CFP transgenic mice, NMDA treatment induced axon loss as well as hypertrophic morphology and mitochondrial fission in astrocytes of the glial lamina. In human ONH astrocytes, NMDA treatment in vitro triggered mitochondrial fission by decreasing mitochondrial length and number, thereby reducing mitochondrial volume density. However, blocking excitotoxicity by memantine (MEM) prevented these alterations by increasing mitochondrial length, number and volume density. In glaucomatous DBA/2J (D2) mice, blocking excitotoxicity by MEM inhibited the morphological alteration as well as increased mitochondrial number and volume density in astrocytes of the glial lamina. However, blocking excitotoxicity decreased autophagosome/autolysosome volume density in both astrocytes and axons in the glial lamina of glaucomatous D2 mice. These findings provide evidence that blocking excitotoxicity prevents ONH astrocyte dysfunction in glaucomatous neurodegeneration by increasing mitochondrial fission, increasing mitochondrial volume density and length, and decreasing autophagosome/autolysosome formation. GLIA 2015;63:736-753.
Project description:Optic nerve head (ONH) astrocytes have been proposed to play both protective and deleterious roles in glaucoma. We now show that, within the postlaminar ONH myelination transition zone (MTZ), there are astrocytes that normally express Mac-2 (also known as Lgals3 or galectin-3), a gene typically expressed only in phagocytic cells. Surprisingly, even in healthy mice, MTZ and other ONH astrocytes constitutive internalize large axonal evulsions that contain whole organelles. In mouse glaucoma models, MTZ astrocytes further up-regulate Mac-2 expression. During glaucomatous degeneration, there are dystrophic processes in the retina and optic nerve, including the MTZ, which contain protease resistant ?-synuclein. The increased Mac-2 expression by MTZ astrocytes during glaucoma likely depends on this ?-synuclein, as mice lacking ?-synuclein fail to up-regulate Mac-2 at the MTZ after elevation of intraocular pressure. These results suggest the possibility that a newly discovered normal degradative pathway for axons might contribute to glaucomatous neurodegeneration.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glaucoma is a leading neurodegenerative disease affecting over 70 million individuals worldwide. Early pathological events of axonal degeneration and retinopathy in response to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) are limited and not well-defined due to the lack of appropriate animal models that faithfully replicate all the phenotypes of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the most common form of glaucoma. Glucocorticoid (GC)-induced ocular hypertension (OHT) and its associated iatrogenic open-angle glaucoma share many features with POAG. Here, we characterized a novel mouse model of GC-induced OHT for glaucomatous neurodegeneration and further explored early pathological events of axonal degeneration in response to elevated IOP. METHODS:C57BL/6?J mice were periocularly injected with either vehicle or the potent GC, dexamethasone 21-acetate (Dex) once a week for 10?weeks. Glaucoma phenotypes including IOP, outflow facility, structural and functional loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), optic nerve (ON) degeneration, gliosis, and anterograde axonal transport deficits were examined at various stages of OHT. RESULTS:Prolonged treatment with Dex leads to glaucoma in mice similar to POAG patients including IOP elevation due to reduced outflow facility and dysfunction of trabecular meshwork, progressive ON degeneration and structural and functional loss of RGCs. Lowering of IOP rescued Dex-induced ON degeneration and RGC loss, suggesting that glaucomatous neurodegeneration is IOP dependent. Also, Dex-induced neurodegeneration was associated with activation of astrocytes, axonal transport deficits, ON demyelination, mitochondrial accumulation and immune cell infiltration in the optic nerve head (ONH) region. Our studies further show that ON degeneration precedes structural and functional loss of RGCs in Dex-treated mice. Axonal damage and transport deficits initiate at the ONH and progress toward the distal end of ON and target regions in the brain (i.e. superior colliculus). Most of anterograde transport was preserved during initial stages of axonal degeneration (30% loss) and complete transport deficits were only observed at the ONH during later stages of severe axonal degeneration (50% loss). CONCLUSIONS:These findings indicate that ON degeneration and transport deficits at the ONH precede RGC structural and functional loss and provide a new potential therapeutic window for rescuing neuronal loss and restoring health of damaged axons in glaucoma.
Project description:Purpose: The optic nerve head (ONH) is the likely site of initial damage in the glaucomatous eye. Despite the recognition of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) as a leading risk factor for the development of glaucoma, ocular hypertension (OHT) eyes displaying consistently elevated IOP do not experience ONH damage. This study aims to identify global gene expression variations in glaucomatous ONHs and their relationship to those identified in OHT derived ONHs in order to improve our understanding of IOP-induced ONH damage. Methods: (N=6) ONHs were collected from clinically confirmed glaucoma, OHT and age-matched control donor eyes. Total RNA extracted from ONHs was reverse transcribed and assayed using the Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST array. Differentially expressed genes in glaucoma versus control and OHT derived ONHs were identified using an ANOVA analysis with a 1.25 fold change limit and P-value < 0.05. Quantitative RT-PCR was performed to validate selected differentially expressed genes. Results: Microarray analysis revealed 149 under under-expressed genes in POAG versus control ONHs, many of which are involved in ion transport, axonogenesis and macromolecule catabolic processes. 297 genes were over expressed in OHT versus glaucoma derived ONHs. Mediators of oxidation-reduction and chemical homeostasis were among the most prominent gene groups identified. The over expression of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2, integrin, beta-like 1 and fibulin 5 in glaucomatous ONHs was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Conclusions: Our data demonstrates marked alteration in global gene expression patterns in the glaucomatous ONH, likely due to extensive tissue injury. The observed overlapping of several differentially expressed genes in glaucoma and OHT derived ONHs suggests the induction of common mechanisms in response to elevated IOP. Preferential over-expression of certain gene groups in OHT but not glaucoma derived ONHs may confer possible protection against IOP-induced ONH damage, which remains to be investigated in future studies. Overall design: (N=6) Glaucoma, ocular hypertension and age-matched control ONHs were assayed to investigate and compare global gene expression patterns in each sample group.
Project description:Coding variants in the optineurin gene (OPTN, GLC1E) have been reported to play a role in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in various populations. This study investigated the role of OPTN sequence variants in patients with POAG in Ghana (West Africa).This is a case-control study of unrelated Ghanaian POAG cases and non-glaucomatous controls. Ascertainment criteria for POAG included the presence of glaucomatous optic nerve neuropathy, associated visual field loss, and elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in both eyes, all in the absence of secondary causes of glaucoma. Controls had normal optic nerves, visual fields, and IOP. All the coding exons of OPTN were polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified and sequenced in all 140 cases and 130 controls using an ABI 3730 DNA analyzer.All the coding exons of OPTN were sequenced in 140 POAG patients and 130 controls. Several coding variants were identified including M98K, A134A, V147L, P292P, A301G, S321S, and E322K. Three coding variants (V147L, P292P, and A301G) have not been reported previously. There were no significant differences on the frequencies of all the identified variants between POAG cases and controls in this population.This is the first comprehensive study of OPTN in a single West African population. Our results suggest that coding variants in OPTN may not contribute to the risk for POAG in persons of West African descent.