Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Neuroscience

Abstract

Exfoliation glaucoma (XFG) is characterized by deposition of exfoliation material at the trabecular meshwork thereby blocking aqueous outflow and consequently increasing intraocular pressure (IOP). Elevated IOP initiates glaucomatous biomechanical damage at the optic nerve head (ONH) eventually resulting in retinal neuronal death and vision loss. The major cell type at ONH are ONH astrocytes (ONHA). A chronic downregulation of LOXL1 expression has been reported in ONH of XFG patients. We hypothesized that wild-type and LOXL1 knock-down ONHA derived exosomes have differential effects on neurons in vitro.We here report that ONHAs release exosomes, which can be taken up by astrocytes and neurons in vitro. While we did not observe any effects of astrocyte-derived exosomes on neuronal survival, exosomes derived from LOXL1 knock-down ONHAs reduced neurite outgrowth as compared to exosomes derived from wild-type ONHAs. Our data are the first to suggest a potentially homeostatic role of exosomes at the ONH.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Monday, November 10, 2025

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