The Role of Crystallins and Fas Ligand in Protection versus Ocular Destruction in Endophthalmitis

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2005

Project Description/Abstract

Apoptosis is a genetically regulated mechanism by which cells commit suicide. Thus, cellular responses to apoptosis may be critical to the treatment of multiple diseases. However, inhibitors of apoptosis are commonly expressed in many disorders, conferring cellular survival and resistance to death. A well-known mechanism by which apoptosis is derailed in many cell types is through increased expression of cellular stress proteins, including heat shock proteins. During my postdoctoral fellowship, we identified the heat shock protein aB-cystallin as a novel inhibitor of apoptosis. Recently, colleagues at Schepens Eye Research Institute demonstrated an upregualation of crystallin expression in the eyes of mice during inflammation in a model of bacterial induced endophthalmitis, an intraocular bacterial infection that can lead to complete destruction of the eye. Experiments described herein will examine the hypothesis that upregulation of crystallins confers protection to the retina during destructive inflammation secondary to endophthalmitis.

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