|Home- - -History-- -Bibliography- -Pregnancy Timeline- --Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy- -- Pregnancy Calculator- --Female Reproductive System- News Alerts -Contact|
Click weeks 0 - 40 and follow fetal growth
Cancer and Fetal Exposure to Carcinogens
Gene Discovered for Weaver Syndrome
Mom's Asthma Inhaler Risks Child Endocrine Issues
Progesterone Reduces Neonatal Risk
The Ability to Love Takes Root in Earliest Infancy
Fetal Trachea Correction Increases Survival
Vaccine Successfully Attacks Breast Cancer in Mice!
Mom Weight Before/During Pregnancy Affects Baby
FoxC1 Gene Discovered to Maintain a Clear Cornea
Animal Empathy, How Is It Different From Human?
Clues to How the Pancreas Develops
Mitosis - Making The Right Copy At The Right Time
Gene Therapy Against Hereditary Bleeding Disorder
What Goes On Behind Babies Gift of Gab
Adult Brains Can Continue to Grow With Learning
A new Northwestern Medicine study has identified a gene that plays a major role in maintaining clarity of the cornea in humans and mice -- and could possibly be used as gene therapy to treat diseases that cause blindness. The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"We believe we've discovered the master regulator gene that prevents the formation of blood vessels in the eye and protects the clarity of the cornea," said lead author Tsutomu Kume, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a researcher at Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute.
The existence of the gene, FoxC1, was previously known, but its role in maintaining a clear cornea is a new finding. Working with a special breed of mice that are missing this gene, Kume and colleagues found abnormal vascular formations, or blood vessels, streaking their corneas and blocking light.
When Kume discovered the corneal blood vessels in the mutant mice, he called a collaborator at the University of Alberta in Canada, Ordan Lehmann, MD, professor of ophthalmology and medical genetics.
Lehmann found that his patients who have a single copy of this mutated FoxC1 gene -- and who have congenital glaucoma -- also have abnormal blood vessel growth in their eyes.
"The exciting thing is by showing the loss of FoxC1 causes vascularization of the cornea, it means increasing levels of the gene might help prevent the abnormal growth of blood vessels, potentially in multiple eye disorders that cause blindness," said Lehmann, a coauthor on the paper. "That's the hope." One possible use might be in corneal transplants, he said, where the growth of new blood vessels onto the transplanted cornea is a major problem.
Kume next plans to test the gene therapy in mice to see if injecting FoxC1 inhibits the formation of blood vessels in the cornea.
Original article: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2011/12/cornea-gene.html