Although glaucoma is a relatively common blinding disease, most people do not develop glaucoma. A robust intraocular pressure (IOP) homeostatic mechanism keeps ocular pressures within relatively narrow acceptable bounds throughout most peoples' lives. The trabecular meshwork and/or Schlemm's canal inner wall cells respond to sustained IOP elevation and adjust the aqueous humor outflow resistance to restore IOP to acceptable levels. It appears that the cells sense IOP elevations as mechanical stretch or distortion of the actual outflow resistance and respond by initiating a complex extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover process that takes several days to complete. Although considerable information pertinent to this process is available, many aspects of the IOP homeostatic process remain to be elucidated. Components and mechanisms beyond ECM turnover could also be relevant to IOP homeostasis, but will not be addressed in detail here. Known aspects of the IOP homeostasis process as well as possible ways that it might function and impact glaucoma are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)