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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Mar-Apr;30(2-3):121-7. doi: 10.1089/jop.2013.0239. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Role of the alternatively spliced glucocorticoid receptor isoform GRβ in steroid responsiveness and glaucoma.

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1 Department of Cell Biology and Immunology, University of North Texas Health Science Center , Fort Worth, Texas.


Glucocorticoid (GC)-induced ocular hypertension (OHT) is a serious side effect of GC therapy in susceptible individuals. This OHT is due to increased aqueous humor (AH) outflow resistance in the trabecular meshwork (TM) caused by GC-mediated changes in TM structure and function. GCs may also play a role in the development of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Elevated cortisol levels in the AH or enhanced GC sensitivity may be one of the reasons for elevated intraocular pressure in POAG patients. The GC OHT responder population is at greater risk of developing POAG compared with non-responders. We recently have gained insight into the molecular mechanisms responsible for this differential GC responsiveness, which is attributed to differences in GC receptor isoform expression in the TM. This article summarizes current knowledge on alternative GC receptor splicing to generate GC receptor alpha (GRα) and GRβ and their roles in the regulation of GC responsiveness in normal and glaucoma TM.

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