Navigation Links
Free radicals in cornea may contribute to Fuchs dystrophy, most common cause of corneal transplants
Date:1/31/2011

Boston, MAScientists have found that free radicals (unstable molecules that cause the death of cells as the body ages) may also cause the damage in the eyes of patients with Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD), a hereditary disease that is one of the most common reasons for corneal transplants worldwide.

The finding, published in the November 2010 American Journal of Pathology, holds promise for early and preventative treatments for this disease, which impacts nearly four percent of the population over age 60.

"Our discovery is significant, because it gives us the first hope for slowing the progression of the disease," says Dr. Ula V. Jurkunas, the principal investigator of the study, who is a scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and a corneal surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. "If we can identify how free radicals are involved in this and what antioxidants can fight them, we can create a regimen that can help protect the cornea," she adds. (Antioxidants are molecules such as vitamins or certain proteins that bind with and neutralize free radicals.)

FECD destroys cells in the endothelial or deepest layer of the cornea, which is the clear tissue that makes up the front portion of the eye. These endothelial cells are equipped with pumps that expel excess water from the cornea and keep it clear. Without these cells, the cornea swells and vision clouds, and, in the late stages, vision is completely blocked.

Because corneal endothelial cells do not regenerate themselves, the only effective treatment for Fuchs has been corneal transplant, in which a surgeon removes the injured layer and replaces it with the donor endothelium.

While scientists have made progress in identifying some genes that cause the disease, they have made little or no progress in defining the mechanisms at play.

As a surgeon who performs hundreds of transplants, Jurkunas began to believe that a free radical process might be part of what is happening within the Fuchs dystrophy-plagued cornea. Free radicals are unstable molecules released by the body, which destabilize other molecules through a process known as oxidization, which causes cell death. Antioxidants are known to bind with and neutralize free radicals.

To test the theory, Jurkunas and her colleagues took numerous tissue samples from patients undergoing corneal transplants and tested them for evidence of free radical oxidation and subsequent tissue damage.

In the significant majority of specimens, the scientists found that the level of antioxidants was less than normal (or down-regulated). They also found evidence of high rates of damage to the cells' DNA, which is particularly susceptible to free radicals.

According to Jurkunas, the next step is to identify the specific antioxidants that would neutralize the free radicals involved in the damage and, therefore, could prevent or block their destructive action.

What should patients do in the meantime? While no conclusions should be drawn from these early results, Jurkunas recommends that patients at risk for Fuchs eat a healthy diet rich in leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, take multivitamins and wear UV protection outdoors.


'/>"/>

Contact: Patti Jacobs
pjacobs12@comcast.net
617-864-2712
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Forget the antioxidants? McGill researchers cast doubt on role of free radicals in aging
2. Traits produced by melanin may signal the bearers capacity to combat free radicals
3. Stem cell therapy makes cloudy corneas clear, according to Pitt researchers
4. The role of stem cells in renewing the cornea
5. Study shows smaller rows contribute to more soybean yields in colder climates
6. UK researchers contribute to sequencing strawberry genome
7. Dodds contributes to new national study on nitrogen water pollution
8. Waterways contribute to growth of potent greenhouse gas
9. Scientists discover molecular switch that contributes to cellular aging process
10. Think saturated fat contributes to heart disease? Think again
11. In-country OB/GYN training programs contributed to retention of doctors in Ghana, U-M study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2016)... 6, 2016 The News Of Biomedical ... "Who Is Telling The Truth, Nature Or Man?" ... [1] The formal recognition of a fundamental omission ... published by a national academy of science with ... is a significant development towards the advancement of ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... , May 6, 2016 According to ... Molecular Diagnostic Market for Group A Streptococcus (GAS) Nucleic Acid ... Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2015 - 2023 ", the ... streptococcus (GAS) nucleic acid (NA) test products market was valued ... expand at a CAGR of 11.6% from 2015 to 2023 ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... 2016 Recent studies show that patients no ... medication when treating certain types of pain. With the ... can go right to the source instead of masking ... organization, provides physician training about the benefits of regenerative ... find physicians across the United States ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... , ... May 06, 2016 , ... ... most recent release, Clinical Studio Version 4.1, greatly improves performance of the platform. ... where protocols often generate tremendous volumes of data to be collected on a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: