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Eye (Lond). 2011 May;25(5):545-53. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.64. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Imaging apoptosis in the eye.

Author information

  • 1Glaucoma & Retinal Neurodegeneration Research Group, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Visual Neurosciences, Bath Street, London, UK. m.cordeiro@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death that is implicated in both pathological and physiological processes throughout the body. Its imaging in vivo with intravenous radiolabelled-annexin V has been heralded as an important advance, with around 30 clinical trials demonstrating its application in the early detection and monitoring of disease, and the assessment of efficacy of potential and existing therapies. A recent development has been the use of fluorescently labeled annexin V to visualize single retinal cells undergoing the process of apoptosis in vivo with ophthalmoscopy. This has been given the acronym DARC (Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells). DARC so far has only been used experimentally, but clinical trials are starting shortly in glaucoma patients. Results suggest that DARC may provide a direct assessment of retinal ganglion cell health. By enabling early assessment and quantitative analysis of cellular degeneration in glaucoma, it is hoped that DARC can identify patients before the onset of irreversible vision loss. Furthermore, in addition to aiding the tracking of disease, it may provide a rapid and objective assessment of potential and effective therapies, providing a new and meaningful clinical endpoint in glaucomatous disease that is so badly needed.

PMID:
21436846
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3171262
Free PMC Article

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