Browsing by Author "Vaajanen, Anu"

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  • Vaajanen, Anu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Glaucoma is a multifactorial long-term ocular neuropathy associated with progressive loss of the visual field, retinal nerve fiber structural abnormalities and optic disc changes. Like arterial hypertension it is usually a symptomless disease, but if left untreated leads to visual disability and eventual blindness. All therapies currently used aim to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in order to minimize cell death. Drugs with new mechanisms of action could protect glaucomatous eyes against blindness. Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is known to regulate systemic blood pressure and compounds acting on it are in wide clinical use in the treatment of hypertension and heart failure but not yet in ophthalmological use. There are only few previous studies concerning intraocular RAS, though evidence is accumulating that drugs antagonizing RAS can also lower IOP, the only treatable risk factor in glaucoma. The main aim of this experimental study was to clarify the expression of the renin-angiotensin system in the eye tissues and to test its potential oculohypotensive effects and mechanisms. In addition, the possible relationship between the development of hypertension and IOP was evaluated in animal models. In conclusion, a novel angiotensin receptor type (Mas), as well as ACE2 enzyme- producing agonists for Mas, were described for the first time in the eye structures participating in the regulation of IOP. In addition, a Mas receptor agonist significantly reduced even normal IOP. The effect was abolished by a specific receptor antagonist. Intraocular, local RAS would thus to be involved in the regulation of IOP, probably even more in pathological conditions such as glaucoma though there was no unambiguous relationship between arterial and ocular hypertension. The findings suggest the potential as antiglaucomatous drugs of agents which increase ACE2 activity and the formation of angiotensin (1-7), or activate Mas receptors.