Elevated IOP is the major risk factor in glaucoma, a neurodegenerative disorder affecting 80 million people worldwide. Loss of retinal ganglion cells and their axons is the major pathological hallmark of glaucoma, the disease facilitated by mechanical damage neuroinflammation and danger signaling. These pathological factors were identified in human glaucoma and in experimental animal models. Our long-term goal is to decrease and, ultimately, prevent vision loss in glaucoma and other retinal and optic nerve pathologies induced by intraocular pressure. Pursuant to our objective, we will characterize a novel pathway that facilitates RGC dysfunction and loss via an interaction between P2X receptors, pannexin1 (Panx1), and inflammasome in the retina. Our project is premised on our preliminary studies that identified two new Panx1 partners that may contribute to RGC toxicity, including upstream regulator P2RX4 and a downstream target, the inflammasome. We found that this signaling cascade activates caspase 1 and 11, the core inflammasome proteases. We will, therefore, test our central hypothesis that the activation of neuronal P2(R)X4 is pivotal for Panx1-mediated neurotoxicity, which triggers inflammasome activation in response to elevated intraocular pressure. Our three specific aims are designed to test this hypothesis and determine whether retinal inflammasome is critical for RGC dysfunction or loss.
Specific Aims are designed to: 1) Establish the role of P2X4 receptor in Panx1-mediated loss of RGCs and their axons; 2) Examine the mechanism of P2(R)X4 regulation of Panx1, caspases and the inflammasome, and 3) Determine whether glial ATP release facilitate neuronal inflammasome activation and contribute to Panx1- mediated RGC loss. Significance. This project has a translational potential and is significant because it is developing and testing a novel strategy against inflammation-induced neurodegeneration, implicated in glaucoma, a clinical problem identified by the NIH as a crucial research objective. Preventing vision loss in major blinding pathologies like glaucoma and other ischemic injuries of retina require a comprehensive, knowledge-based therapeutic strategy. This proposal is designed to provide mechanistic understanding for the role of newly discovered non- canonical inflammasome pathway in animal models for these pathologies. This research project will establish the role and feasibility of therapeutic targeting of Panx1-P2X and inflammasome pathways in the chronic ocular hypertension models, relevant to glaucomatous pathology. If successful, the new knowledge of basic biology of inflammation-induced neuronal damage in the retina will help us to identify new targets for rational drug design.

Public Health Relevance

We have identified a new, previously unexplored molecular molecular pathway comprising pannexin1 protein and purinergic P2X4 receptor that mediate neuronal injury induced by ocular hypertension. This project is designed to characterize regulatory interactions between pannexin, P2X family receptors and proteins of the inflammasome pathway to help determine how they facilitate neuronal toxicity and vision loss in the eyes with glaucoma. The major outcomes of this study include the improved mechanistic understanding of innate inflammatory damage in the context of retinal pathology and development of new targets for glaucoma therapy. PHS 398/2590 (Rev. 09/04, Reissued 4/2006) Page Continuation Format Page

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01EY021517-05
Application #
9548680
Study Section
Diseases and Pathophysiology of the Visual System Study Section (DPVS)
Program Officer
Mckie, George Ann
Project Start
2012-04-01
Project End
2021-04-30
Budget Start
2018-05-01
Budget End
2019-04-30
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2018
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Miami School of Medicine
Department
Ophthalmology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
052780918
City
Coral Gables
State
FL
Country
United States
Zip Code
33146
Willebrords, Joost; Maes, Michaël; Pereira, Isabel Veloso Alves et al. (2018) Protective effect of genetic deletion of pannexin1 in experimental mouse models of acute and chronic liver disease. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 1864:819-830
Shestopalov, Valery I; Panchin, Yuri; Tarasova, Olga S et al. (2017) Pannexins Are Potential New Players in the Regulation of Cerebral Homeostasis during Sleep-Wake Cycle. Front Cell Neurosci 11:210
Horton, Steven M; Luna Lopez, Carlos; Blevins, Elisabeth et al. (2017) Pannexin 1 Modulates Axonal Growth in Mouse Peripheral Nerves. Front Cell Neurosci 11:365
Basova, Liana V; Tang, Xin; Umasume, Takeshi et al. (2017) Manipulation of Panx1 Activity Increases the Engraftment of Transplanted Lacrimal Gland Epithelial Progenitor Cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 58:5654-5665
Wicki-Stordeur, Leigh E; Sanchez-Arias, Juan C; Dhaliwal, Jagroop et al. (2016) Pannexin 1 Differentially Affects Neural Precursor Cell Maintenance in the Ventricular Zone and Peri-Infarct Cortex. J Neurosci 36:1203-10
Mac Nair, Caitlin E; Schlamp, Cassandra L; Montgomery, Angela D et al. (2016) Retinal glial responses to optic nerve crush are attenuated in Bax-deficient mice and modulated by purinergic signaling pathways. J Neuroinflammation 13:93
Gaynullina, Dina; Shestopalov, Valery I; Panchin, Yury et al. (2015) Pannexin 1 facilitates arterial relaxation via an endothelium-derived hyperpolarization mechanism. FEBS Lett 589:1164-70
Vanden Berghe, Tom; Hulpiau, Paco; Martens, Liesbet et al. (2015) Passenger Mutations Confound Interpretation of All Genetically Modified Congenic Mice. Immunity 43:200-9
Tordoff, Michael G; Aleman, Tiffany R; Ellis, Hillary T et al. (2015) Normal Taste Acceptance and Preference of PANX1 Knockout Mice. Chem Senses 40:453-9
Makarenkova, Helen P; Shestopalov, Valery I (2014) The role of pannexin hemichannels in inflammation and regeneration. Front Physiol 5:63

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