PURPOSE: We examined the role of DNA copy number variants (CNVs) of known glaucoma genes in relation to primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). METHODS: Our study included DNA samples from two studies (NEIGHBOR and GLAUGEN). All the samples were genotyped with the Illumina Human660W_Quad_v1 BeadChip. After removing non-blood-derived and amplified DNA samples, we applied quality control steps based on the mean Log R Ratio and the mean B allele frequency. Subsequently, data from 3057 DNA samples (1599 cases and 1458 controls) were analyzed with PennCNV software. We defined CNVs as those ≥5 kilobases (kb) in size and interrogated by ≥5 consecutive probes. We further limited our investigation to CNVs in known POAG-related genes, including CDKN2B-AS1, TMCO1, SIX1/SIX6, CAV1/CAV2, the LRP12-ZFPM2 region, GAS7, ATOH7, FNDC3B, CYP1B1, MYOC, OPTN, WDR36, SRBD1, TBK1, and GALC. RESULTS: Genomic duplications of CDKN2B-AS1 and TMCO1 were each found in a single case. Two cases carried duplications in the GAS7 region. Genomic deletions of SIX6 and ATOH7 were each identified in one case. One case carried a TBK1 deletion and another case carried a TBK1 duplication. No controls had duplications or deletions in these six genes. A single control had a duplication in the MYOC region. Deletions of GALC were observed in five cases and two controls. CONCLUSIONS: The CNV analysis of a large set of cases and controls revealed the presence of rare CNVs in known POAG susceptibility genes. Our data suggest that these rare CNVs may contribute to POAG pathogenesis and merit functional evaluation.
In glaucoma, regardless of its etiology, retinal ganglion cells degenerate and eventually die. Although age and elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) are the main risk factors, there are still many mysteries in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. The advent of genome-wide microarray expression screening together with the availability of animal models of the disease has allowed analysis of differential gene expression in all parts of the eye in glaucoma. This review will outline the findings of recent genome-wide expression studies and discuss their commonalities and differences. A common finding was the differential regulation of genes involved in inflammation and immunity, including the complement system and the cytokines transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). Other genes of interest have roles in the extracellular matrix, cell-matrix interactions and adhesion, the cell cycle, and the endothelin system.
PURPOSE: To assess whether brimonidine 0.15% alters retinal vascular autoregulation and short-term visual function in normal tension glaucoma patients who demonstrate retinal vascular dysregulation. DESIGN: Nonrandomized clinical trial. METHODS: In this prospective study, 46 normal tension glaucoma patients not previously treated with brimonidine underwent retinal vascular autoregulation testing and visual function assessment using frequency doubling technology perimetry and equivalent noise motion sensitivity testing. We measured blood flow in a major temporal retinal artery with subjects seated and then while reclined for 30 minutes. Patients having a change in retinal blood flow with posture change outside the range previously found in healthy subjects were classified as having retinal vascular dysregulation. They were treated with brimonidine 0.15% for 8 weeks and designated for retesting. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients demonstrated retinal vascular dysregulation at the initial visit. Younger age (P = .050) and diabetes (P = .055) were marginally significant risk factors for retinal vascular dysregulation. After the 8-week course with brimonidine, 14 of the 17 patients who completed the study showed a return of posture-induced retinal blood flow changes to levels consistent with normal retinal vascular autoregulation (P < .0001). We found no significant changes in frequency doubling technology perimetry or in motion detection parameters following treatment with brimondine (P > .09 for all tests performed). CONCLUSIONS: Brimonidine significantly improved impaired retinal vascular autoregulation in normal tension glaucoma patients, but short-term alteration in visual function could not be demonstrated.
Complex traits can be triggered by environmental factors in genetically predisposed individuals. The lysyl oxidase-like 1 gene (LOXL1) variants associated with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) are detected in >90% of cases that have been genotyped from sites around the world. Remarkably, roughly 80% of people without XFS also possess these same variants in all populations that have been tested. Nonetheless, the prevalence of XFS varies from ≤0.4% to >20%. These data suggest that other genetic variants, epigenetic modifications, or environmental factors also contribute to XFS. Furthermore, it is possible that environmental factors modify the association between LOXL1 and XFS. Interactions between LOXL1 variants and environmental factors could explain the varying prevalence of XFS seen throughout the world. At the very least, the discovery of the association between LOXL1 variants and XFS has opened the door to the discovery of environmental risk factors for this condition. Candidate gene-environment interactions in XFS will be discussed.
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor in developing glaucoma, and variability in IOP might herald glaucomatous development or progression. We report the results of a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 18 population cohorts from the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium (IGGC), comprising 35,296 multi-ancestry participants for IOP. We confirm genetic association of known loci for IOP and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and identify four new IOP-associated loci located on chromosome 3q25.31 within the FNDC3B gene (P = 4.19 × 10(-8) for rs6445055), two on chromosome 9 (P = 2.80 × 10(-11) for rs2472493 near ABCA1 and P = 6.39 × 10(-11) for rs8176693 within ABO) and one on chromosome 11p11.2 (best P = 1.04 × 10(-11) for rs747782). Separate meta-analyses of 4 independent POAG cohorts, totaling 4,284 cases and 95,560 controls, showed that 3 of these loci for IOP were also associated with POAG.