|(Samsung Seoul Hospital-Yonhap News)|
Gene therapy has been developed to treat glaucoma by inhibiting the expression of certain genes.
Glaucoma is a disease in which eye pressure increases as the outlet of waterproofing, which is a fluid in the eye that maintains intraocular pressure while supplying nutrients to the eyeball, is narrowed, causing damage to the optic nerve of the retina. There is currently no cure.
Dr. Collin Chu, an ophthalmologist at the University of Bristol Medical School, UK, used CRISPR gene scissors to cure glaucoma by inhibiting the gene Aquaporin1 in the ciliary body of the eye. It was developed, ScienceDaily reported on the 21st.
The aquaporin 1 gene is a gene that makes a membrane protein that regulates the entry and exit of water in cells, and inhibition of this gene will resolve the increase in intraocular pressure, the cause of glaucoma, the research team said.
This gene is in the ciliary body, a band-shaped tissue that is connected to the lens. The ciliary body creates the waterproofing needed to maintain intraocular pressure.
The research team explained that this gene therapy was effective in experiments with glaucoma model mice and donated eye tissue.
The research team hopes that the results will lead to clinical trials in the future, and said that if successful results are obtained from clinical trials, long-term treatment will be possible with only one gene injection.
Currently, eye drops to lower intraocular pressure, laser treatment, and surgery are used, but the treatment effect is limited and there are side effects.
The results of this study were published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Molecular Therapy. ()