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Early removal of senescent cells protects retinal ganglion cells loss in experimental ocular hypertension

Citation

Krawczyk, Michal et al. (2019), Early removal of senescent cells protects retinal ganglion cells loss in experimental ocular hypertension, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.6075/J0707ZTM

Abstract

Experimental ocular hypertension induces senescence of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that mimicks events occurring in human glaucoma. Senescence-related chromatin
remodeling leads to profound transcriptional changes including the upregulation of a subset of genes that encode multiple proteins collectively referred to as the senescenceassociated secretory phenotype (SASP). Emerging evidence suggests that the presence of these proinflammatory and matrix-degrading molecules has deleterious effects in a variety of tissues. In the current study, we demonstrated in a transgenic mouse model that early removal of senescent cells induced upon elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) protects unaffected RGCs from senescence and apoptosis. Visual evoked potential (VEP) analysis demonstrated that remaining RGCs are functional and that the treatment protected visual functions. Finally, removal of endogenous senescent retinal cells after IOP elevation by a treatment with senolytic drug dasatinib prevented loss of retinal functions and cellular structure. Senolytic drugs may have the potential to mitigate the deleterious impact of elevated IOP on RGC survival in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies.