Neurotrophin roles in retinal ganglion cell survival: Lessons from rat glaucoma models

Elaine C. Johnson, Ying Guo, William O. Cepurna, John C. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The neurotrophin (NT) hypothesis proposes that the obstruction of retrograde transport at the optic nerve head results in the deprivation of neurotrophic support to retinal ganglion cells (RGC) leading to apoptotic cell death in glaucoma. An important corollary to this concept is the implication that appropriate enhancement of neurotrophic support will prolong the survival of injured RGC indefinitely. This hypothesis is, perhaps, the most widely recognized theory to explain RGC loss resulting from exposure of the eye to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Recent studies of NT signaling using rat glaucoma models, have examined the endogenous responses of the retina to pressure exposure as well as studies designed to augment NT signaling in order to rescue RGC from apoptosis following pressure-induced injury. The examination of these studies in this review reveals a number of consistent observations and provides direction for further investigations of this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)808-815
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 30 2009


  • P75 neurotrophin receptor
  • TRK receptors
  • experimental glaucoma
  • intraocular pressure
  • neurotrophic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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