Library - Glaucoma

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Apr 1;57(5):ORSFi1-6. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-18590.

The Potential of Human Stem Cells for the Study and Treatment of Glaucoma.

Chamling X1Sluch VM2Zack DJ2.



Currently, the only available and approved treatments for glaucoma are various pharmacologic, laser-based, and surgical procedures that lower IOP. Although these treatments can be effective, they are not always sufficient, and they cannot restore vision that has already been lost. The goal of this review is to briefly assess current developments in the application of stem cell biology to the study and treatment ofglaucoma and other forms of optic neuropathy.


A combined literature review and summary of the glaucoma-related discussion at the 2015 “Sight Restoration Through Stem CellTherapy” meeting that was sponsored by the Ocular Research Symposia Foundation (ORSF).


Ongoing advancements in basic and eye-related developmental biology have enabled researchers to direct murine and human stem cells along specific developmental paths and to differentiate them into a variety of ocular cell types of interest. The most advanced of these efforts involve the differentiation of stem cells into retinal pigment epithelial cells, work that has led to the initiation of several human trials. More related to the glaucoma field, there have been recent advances in developing protocols for differentiation of stem cells into trabecular meshwork and retinal ganglion cells. Additionally, efforts are being made to generate stem cell-derived cells that can be used to secrete neuroprotective factors.


Advancing stem cell technology provides opportunities to improve our understanding of glaucoma-related biology and develop models for drug development, and offers the possibility of cell-based therapies to restore sight to patients who have already lost vision.

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Mar 22;17(3). pii: E415. doi: 10.3390/ijms17030415.

Ocular Stem Cell Research from Basic Science to Clinical Application: A Report from Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center Ocular Stem Cell Symposium.

Ouyang H1Goldberg JL2Chen S3Li W4Xu GT5Li W6Zhang K7Nussenblatt RB8Liu Y9Xie T10Chan CC11,12Zack DJ13.


Stem cells hold promise for treating a wide variety of diseases, including degenerative disorders of the eye. The eye is an ideal organ for stem cell therapy because of its relative immunological privilege, surgical accessibility, and its being a self-contained system. The eye also has many potential target diseases amenable to stem cell-based treatment, such as corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Among them, AMD and glaucoma are the two most common diseases, affecting over 200 million people worldwide. Recent results on the clinical trial of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in treating dry AMD and Stargardt’s disease in the US, Japan, England, and China have generated great excitement and hope. This marks the beginning of the ocular stem cell therapy era. The recent Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center Ocular Stem Cell Symposium discussed the potential applications of various stem cell types in stem cell-based therapies, drug discoveries and tissue engineering for treating ocular diseases.


age-related macular degeneration; eye diseases; glaucoma; limbal stem cell deficiency; regenerative medicine; stem cells

Can J Ophthalmol. 2014 Dec;49(6):534-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2014.08.007.

Exciting directions in glaucoma.

Rasmussen CA1Kaufman PL2.


Glaucoma is a complex, life-long disease that requires an individualized, multifaceted approach to treatment. Most patients will be started on topical ocular hypotensive eyedrop therapy, and over time multiple classes of drugs will be needed to control their intraocular pressure. The search for drugs with novel mechanisms of action, to treat those who do not achieve adequate intraocular pressure control with, or become refractory to, current therapeutics, is ongoing, as is the search for more efficient, targeted drug delivery methods. Gene-transfer and stem-cell applications for glaucoma therapeutics are moving forward. Advances in imaging technologies improve our understanding of glaucoma pathophysiology and enable more refined patient evaluation and monitoring, improving patient outcomes.

Copyright © 2014 Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.