Effect of cntf on retinal ganglion cell survival in experimental glaucoma

Mary Ellen Pease, Donald J. Zack, Cynthia Berlinicke, Kristen Bloom, Frances Cone, Yuxia Wang, Ronald L. Klein, William W. Hauswirth, Harry A. Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To assess the neuroprotective effect of virally mediated overexpression of ciliary-derived neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in experimental rat glaucoma. METHODS. Laser-induced glaucoma was produced in one eye of 224 Wistar rats after injection of adenoassociated viral vectors (type 2) containing either CNTF, BDNF, or both, with saline-injected eyes and noninjected glaucomatous eyes serving as the control. IOP was measured with a hand-held tonometer, and semiautomated optic nerve axon counts were performed by masked observers. IOP exposure over time was adjusted in multivariate regression analysis to calculate the effect of CNTF and BDNF. RESULTS. By multivariate regression, CNTF had a significant protective effect, with 15% less RGC axon death (P≤0.01).Both combined CNTF-BDNF and BDNF overexpression alone had no statistically significant improvement in RGC axon sur-vival. By Western blot, there was a quantitative increase in CNTF and BDNF expression in retinas exposed to single viral vectors carrying each gene, but no increase with sequential injection of both vectors. CONCLUSIONS. These data confirm that CNTF can exert a pro-tective effect in experimental glaucoma. The reason for the lack of observed effect in the BDNF overexpression groups is unclear, but it may be a function of the level of neurotrophin expression achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2194-2200
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of cntf on retinal ganglion cell survival in experimental glaucoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this