Ms. Hennes is a researcher in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She has seven years of experience working with non-human primates and three years of experience conducting electrophysiology studies with a variety of species. Her particular research experience is in glaucoma and presbyopia.
Identification of adult stem cells in Schwalbe's line region of the primate eye
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Oct 16;55(11):7499-507. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-14872.
PURPOSE: To identify stem cells in the chamber angle of the monkey eye by detection of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) long-term retention.
METHODS: Four cynomolgus monkeys were treated with BrdU via subcutaneous pumps for 4 weeks. The eyes of two animals were processed immediately thereafter (group 1) while in the other animals, BrdU treatment was discontinued for 4 weeks to allow identification of cells with long-term BrdU retention (group 2). The number of BrdU-positive nuclei was quantified, and the cells were characterized by immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
RESULTS: The number of BrdU-positive cells was higher at Schwalbe's line covering the peripheral end of Descemet's membrane than in Schlemm's canal (SC) endothelium, trabecular meshwork (TM), and scleral spur (SS). Labeling with BrdU in SC, TM, and SS was less intense and the number of labeled cells was smaller in group 2 than in group 1. In contrast, in cells of Schwalbe's line the intensity of BrdU staining and the number of BrdU-positive cells was similar when group 1 and 2 monkeys were compared with each other, indicating long-term BrdU retention. Cells that were BrdU-positive in Schwalbe's line region stained for the stem cell marker OCT4. Details of a stem cell niche in Schwalbe's line region were identified by TEM.
CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence for a niche in the Schwalbe's line region harboring cells with long-term BrdU retention and OCT4 immunoreactivity. The cells likely constitute a population of adult stem cells with the capability to compensate for the loss of TM and/or corneal endothelial cells.
1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) and its analog, 2-methylene-19-nor-(20S)-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (2MD), suppress intraocular pressure in non-human primates
Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Feb 1;518(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2011.10.022. Epub 2011 Dec 16.
Ocular hypertension is the greatest known risk factor for glaucoma that affects an estimated 70 million people worldwide. Lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) remains the mainstay of therapy in the management of glaucoma. By means of microarray analysis, we have discovered that 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1α,25-(OH)(2)D(3)) regulates genes that are known to be involved in the determination of intraocular pressure (IOP). Topical administration of 1α,25-(OH)(2)D(3) or its analog, 2-methylene-19-nor-(20S)-1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (2MD), markedly reduces IOP in non-human primates. The reduction in IOP is not the result of reduced aqueous humor formation, while a 35% increase in aqueous humor drainage by 1α,25-(OH)(2)D(3) was found but this increase did not achieve significance. Nevertheless, our results suggest that 1α,25-(OH)(2)D(3), or an analog thereof, may present a new approach to the treatment of glaucoma.