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Oxidative Stress in the Eye

Jun 16 2012

Posted In:

20/20 Blog

The lab completed an NIH grant to study oxidative stress enzymes in the vitreous. This has important implications for treating diabetic vitreoretinopathy.

Diabetic vitreoretinopathy (DVR) is an increasing cause of blindness worldwide. Current treatment for DVR is largely limited to destructive laser therapy and vitrectomy surgery, so there is a great need to identify new molecular targets for early, preventative therapy. Elevation of intraocular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vitreous is implicated in the pathogenesis of DVR, but the molecular mechanisms are not known.

We published a novel technique to isolate human vitreous substructures and their protein constituents. Using 
differential proteomics, 
immunohistochemistry, and enzyme 
activity assays we identified
 the key antioxidant 
defense enzymes in the human 

The vitreous is a heterogeneous 
extracellular matrix overlying the 
retina, ciliary body, and lens. Since oxidative
 stress is closely linked to the 
intraocular neovascularization, 
inflammation, fibrosis, and 
tractional retinal detachment that 
characterize DVR, we are now studying the biochemical aspects of these enzymes in human diabetics, animal models, and tissue culture.

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