Cell Culture Studies of Oxygen, Nitric Oxide, and Retinal Pericytes’ Contractile Tone

  • Ivan O. Haefliger
  • Douglas R. Anderson


Although the pathophysiology of glaucoma is still a matter of debate, it is clear that several conditions represent risk factors for this optic nerve head neuropathy (Shields 1992). Classically, the damage found with glaucoma has been linked to high introcular pressure (IOP) (Anderson 1989). In support of this linkage is that subjects develop unilateral glaucoma after a unilateral posttraumatic increase of IOP. In these patients it is only the eye with a high IOP that has glaucomatous damage, not the eye with normal pressure. Furthermore, the progression of damage can be stopped by reducing the IOP to normal values, which demonstrates that the high IOP, rather than the trauma itself, can lead to glaucoma (Anderson 1989; Shields 1992; Haefliger and Flammer 1997a). The importance of the role of IOP in glaucoma has been further supported by experimental animal models, in which glaucomatous cupping could be elicited after several months of an artificial increase in IOP (Shields 1992). These examples, as well as the common observation that most patients with primary open-angle glaucoma also have some elevation of IOP, have led us to assume that glaucoma was due only to an increase of the IOP and, by definition, that glaucoma is intolerably high IOP.


Nitric Oxide Methylene Blue Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Sodium Nitroprusside Optic Nerve Head 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan O. Haefliger
    • 1
  • Douglas R. Anderson
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ocular Pharmacology and PhysiologyUniversity Eye Clinic BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye InstituteUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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