Glucocorticoid Actions at the Window of the Eye

Presentation Number: MON 379
Date of Presentation: April 3rd, 2017

Mahita Kadmiel*1, Xiaojiang Xu2, Bo He1 and John A Cidlowski1
1NIEHS/NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC, 2National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS/NIH), Research Triangle Park, NC


The cornea is the transparent ‘window’ of the eye, which is essential for visual acuity. By providing a physical barrier, the cornea protects the interior of the eye from external agents such as bacteria, viruses and debris. Allergies, conjunctivitis, bacterial infections and viral infections of the eye can result in corneal diseases that may lead to blindness if left untreated. Synthetic glucocorticoids are widely prescribed in the treatment of ocular infections and disorders to restore vision. For example, glucocorticoids are used to inhibit the growth of blood vessels in the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye that is normally devoid of vasculature to maintain transparency. Glucocorticoids are made by the adrenal glands under tight regulation from the hypothalamus and are necessary for life after birth. They regulate numerous biological processes in man, including glucose homeostasis, skeletal growth, respiratory function, behavior, fertility, development, inflammation and apoptosis. Corticosteroid actions in the cornea have been exploited clinically, however the physiological and molecular functions of the glucocorticoid receptor signaling system are poorly understood. We have explored the possibility that corneal glucocorticoid receptor signaling may be involved in ocular development and in contributing to the immune privilege status of the eye. Global transcriptome analyses identified glucocorticoid-regulated genes in biological functions involved in tissue development, organismal injury and inflammatory responses. Cornea specific knockout of the glucocorticoid receptor defines a profound phenotype in eye development and function.


Nothing to Disclose: MK, XX, BH, JAC