Grant to Study Oxidative Stress in the Eye
Postdoctoral fellow, Jessica Skeie, Ph.D., has won 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 vitreous.
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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