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The relationship between glaucoma development, the immune system and the tenascin-C protein was studied

Researchers from Ruhr-UniversitätBochum (RUB) have studied the role of the immune response in the development of glaucoma in mice. 

Author: Bolysbek Dana 

Translator: Tursunova Balkadisha 

Editor: Anastasia Merentsova 



Glaucoma is a common cause of blindness worldwide. Usually, glaucoma patients have increased intraocular pressure, but about 40% of them remain within the normal range. 


The joint study was conducted by Dr Suzanne Wiemann, Dr Jacqueline Reinhard and Professor Andreas Feissner from the Department of cell morphology and molecular neuroscience (RUB), together with Dr Sabrina Reinehr and Professor Stephanie Joachim from the Institute for Experimental Eye Research in Bochum. 


The researchers studied mice that lacked tenascin-C and compared them to mice that have this protein. In both groups of animals, the researchers caused autoimmune glaucoma, which is similar to glaucoma in humans. 


In mice without tenascin-C, the immune cells of the Central nervous system, microglia, behaved differently than in mice with tenascin-C. The cells were less reactive and released more anti-inflammatory factors. However, in animals with tenascin-C, microglia secreted more Pro-inflammatory factors. 


The research team also observed effects on retinal ganglion cells, which transmit visual information from the eye to brain centers and usually die as a result of glaucoma damage. As a result of the study, mice with tenascin-C lost significantly more retinal ganglion cells than mice without tenascin-C. They also had their optic nerve intact. 


It can be concluded that tenascin-C plays a significant role in the development of glaucoma, regulating inflammatory processes. Scientists hope that this discovery can help in the early diagnosis of glaucoma.