Current researches on effects of retinal neuroglial cells in glaucoma

Authors: Xue Bo,  Ji Min,  Guan Huaijin
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.2095-0160.2016.07.016
Published 2016-07-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2016,34(7): 649-653.

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Glaucoma is a degenerative disease of the retina and the optic nerve.The apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells is the pathological basis of glaucoma, but its mechanism has not been fully elucidated.Currently, a large number of studies in vivo and in vitro have demonstrated that retinal glial cells (including Müller cells, astrocytes and microglial cells) are closely related to the development of glaucoma.Retinal glial cells not only release active factors but also express various neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, surface markers and effector molecules.Therefore, they are actively involved in neuronal information transmission in addition to the traditional view of the role of nutritional support for neurons.In glaucoma, retinal glial cells are activated to undergo a great number of changes in physiology, biochemistry and morphological features.These activated cells initiate different signaling cascades that may serve as a protective role.Meanwhile, they may release toxic factors to start or aggravate the damaging effects on retinal neurons.Usually, both effects occur in glaucoma in parallel, but the underlying mechanisms and signaling pathways are still not clear.More research is needed to understand that how the retinal glial cells are able to rebuild the neuronal function after injury or to promote the neurodamage.With all these unresolved issues in mind, the progress in the study of the mechanism of Müller glial cells, microglial cells and astrocytes participating in the glaucomatous disease were reviewed.

Key words:

Glaucoma; Müller cells; Astrocytes; Microglia; Retinal ganglion cells

Contributor Information

Xue Bo
Department of Ophthalmology, Wuxi No.2 People’s Hospital, Wuxi 214002, China
Ji Min
Department of Ophthalmology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China
Guan Huaijin
Department of Ophthalmology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong 226001, China
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