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New solutions for old challenges in glaucoma treatment: is taurine an option to consider?

Authors
  • Iezhitsa, Igor1
  • Agarwal, Renu2
  • 1 School of Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Volgograd State Medical University, Research Centre for Innovative Medicines, Volgograd, Russian Federation. , (Malaysia)
  • 2 School of Medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. , (Malaysia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neural Regeneration Research
Publisher
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
16
Issue
5
Pages
967–971
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.297059
PMID: 33229737
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Glaucoma is a range of progressive optic neuropathies characterized by progressive retinal ganglion cell loss and visual field defects. It is recognized as a leading cause of irreversible blindness affecting more than 70 million people worldwide. Currently, reduction of intraocular pressure, a widely recognized risk factor for glaucoma development, is the only pharmacological strategy for slowing down retinal ganglion cell loss and disease progression. However, retinal ganglion cell death and visual field loss have been observed in normotensive glaucoma, suggesting that the disease process is partially independent of intraocular pressure. Taurine is one of the agents that have attracted attention of researchers recently. Taurine has been shown to be involved in multiple cellular functions, including a central role as a neurotransmitter, as a trophic factor in the central nervous system development, as an osmolyte, as a neuromodulator, and as a neuroprotectant. It also plays a role in the maintenance of the structural integrity of the membranes and in the regulation of calcium transport and homeostasis. Taurine is known to prevent N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-induced excitotoxic injury to retinal ganglion cells. A recently published study clearly demonstrated that taurine prevents retinal neuronal apoptosis both in vivo and in vitro. Protective effect of taurine may be attributed to direct inhibition of apoptosis, an activation of brain derived neurotrophic factor-related neuroprotective mechanisms and reduction of retinal oxidative and nitrosative stresses. Further studies are needed to fully explore the potential of taurine as a neuroprotective agent, so that it can be applied in clinical practice, particularly for the treatment of glaucoma. The objective of current review was to summarize recent evidence on neuroprotective properties of taurine in glaucoma.

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