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Inducing Intraocular Pressure Elevation in Mice to Simulate Glaucoma

Presenters Name: 
Carlos Rodriguez
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Xiaorong Liu
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Mingna Liu
9:30 - 10:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 9:30am to 10:15am
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

The World Health Organization identifies glaucoma as a major leading cause of blindness, predicted to affect approximately eighty million people worldwide by 2020. The most common form is open-angle glaucoma, characterized by the blockage of drainage canals in the front of the eye. As the disease progresses, specific types of retinal cells begin to die, resulting in impaired vision. To observe the progression of this disease in a controlled setting, laser-induced photocoagulation was used on mice to artificially seal these drainage canals. Laser illumination was administered to the right eyes of mice, while the left eyes remained untreated to serve as controls. Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements were taken of both eyes using a tonometer over the span of a few weeks. The goal of this procedure was to determine if there were any significant differences in IOPs between treated and untreated eyes. The results show that since the coagulation of the canal prevented liquid outflow, IOP measurements of laser-treated eyes were significantly higher than their untreated counterparts. Elevated IOP levels are common in the majority of glaucoma patients, so validating that laser-photocoagulation recreates this elevation ensures a more accurate simulation of glaucoma is achieved. Once heighted IOP levels are confirmed, the next step is to dissect the retina to examine retinal loss. Antibody-stained samples can be observed using confocal imaging to compare the number of cells between laser-treated and untreated eyes. This comparison could identify cells at high risk of damage and help construct increasingly effective treatments against glaucoma.