The overall goal of the proposed research is to understand the relationships between genes essential for anterior segment development and glaucoma. Specifically, we will test the hypothesis that genes essential for anterior segment development, when mutated can interact with other loci to promote and affect the course of glaucoma. The glaucomas are a heterogeneous group of ocular disorders characterized by retinal ganglion cell death, optic nerve damage and visual field loss. Elevated intraocular pressure is a major risk factor. Several mutations have been identified in human genes that result in anterior segment dysgenesis and contribute to glaucoma. Pedigree analysis of these developmental glaucomas, as well as most other forms of glaucoma, indicate that multiple genetic loci act in concert to cause and affect the progression of the disease. However, the identities of many of these relevant genes are not known. We propose to use zebrafish to identify and study genes which regulate anterior segment development and interact with other loci to cause glaucoma. To accomplish this objective, we will first thoroughly evaluate anterior segment development in wild type fish and assess the roles of two developmentally important genes known to contribute to glaucoma in humans (Imx1b and foxC1). Next we will apply our knowledge of development to characterize a new zebrafish mutation (bug eye) which causes anterior segment anomalies when homozygous and when heterozygous and inherited with another mutation causes elevated intraocular pressure and progressive ganglion cell loss in adults. Concurrent with detailed phenotype evaluation in embryos, the molecular genetic defects in the critical loci will be identified.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AED (01))
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Liberman, Ellen S
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Medical College of Wisconsin
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Huckenpahler, Alison; Wilk, Melissa; Link, Brian et al. (2018) Repeatability and Reproducibility of In Vivo Cone Density Measurements in the Adult Zebrafish Retina. Adv Exp Med Biol 1074:151-156
Lapierre-Landry, Maryse; Huckenpahler, Alison L; Link, Brian A et al. (2018) Imaging Melanin Distribution in the Zebrafish Retina Using Photothermal Optical Coherence Tomography. Transl Vis Sci Technol 7:4
Wilk, Melissa A; Huckenpahler, Alison L; Collery, Ross F et al. (2017) The Effect of Retinal Melanin on Optical Coherence Tomography Images. Transl Vis Sci Technol 6:8
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