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HOME Activities Ophthalmology

1.Research Summary

The field of ophthalmology and visual sciences is classified into clinical groups designated glaucoma, retina and vitreous body, neurophthalmology/strabismic amblyopia, cornea/infection, and ophthalmic tumor/ophthalmic plastic, and highly-specialized research is conducted in each area.

2.Research Groups

  • Glaucoma Group
  • Retina and Vitreous Body Group
  • Neurophthalmology Group
  • Strabismic Amblyopia Group
  • Cornea/ Infection Group
  • Ophthalmic Tumor/Ophthalmic Plastic Group

3-1.Glaucoma Group

Research subjects

Changes in axonal transport deficits and properties of the cribrosa lamina that occur in the optic disc in glaucoma
Research on morphological defects of the axonal mitochondria in the optic disc in glaucoma
Analysis of the classification of disease types and phenotypes according to genes related to primary open-angle glaucoma, and development of therapies
Detection and analysis of changes in the cribrosa lamina in glaucoma using optical coherence tomography (OCT)
Long-term follow-up analysis and prognostic prediction of primary open-angle glaucoma using an automated perimeter
Prediction of progression based on analysis of the correlation between visual field (function) and OCT findings (morphology) in glaucoma
Relationship between visual field and QOL (Quality of life) in glaucoma, especially driving and reading
Analysis of the clinical conditions of primary angle-closure/ glaucoma, relationship with corneal endothelial damage

3-2.Retina and Vitreous Body Group

Research subjects

Research on the effect of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) on glaucoma angiogenesis
Research on the therapeutic efficacy of anti-VEGF drugs for age-related macular degeneration
Research on the clinical conditions of central serous chorioretinopathy
Development of new surgical procedures and equipment

3-3.Neurophthalmology Group

Research subjects

Clarification of the clinical conditions for treatment of anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-positive optic neuritis
Development of new imaging diagnostics for optic nerve disease
Evaluation of transcorneal electrical stimulation treatment for optic nerve diseases

3-4.Strabismic Amblyopia Group

Research subjects

Changes in the cerebral cortex ultrastructure in amblyopia
Clarification of clinical conditions for the treatment of specific types of accommodative esotropia

3-5.Cornea/Infection Group

Research subjects

Research on epidemiological studies on uveitis
Research on the therapeutic efficacy of biological products for uveitis
Research on surgical results of corneal transplantation

3-6.Ophthalmic Tumor/Ophthalmic Plastic Group

Research subjects

Research on the development of BRAF (V600E) in ocular malignant melanoma
Research on serological and histopathological examinations of patients with ocular lymphoproliferative diseases and malignant lymphoma meeting the diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related disease

4.Research Results

[Area] Ophthalmology and visual sciences (glaucoma)

[Research subject] Research on morphological defects of the axonal mitochondria in the optic disc in experimental glaucoma

[Description]
India ink was injected into the rat anterior chamber, and at the time when carbon particles were accumulated in the trabecular meshwork, a model of chronic ocular hypertension (1-3 M) was induced by argon laser coagulation which was repeated a few times. Microscopy revealed thinning of the neural retina and backward bending of the laminar beam. On electron microscopic examination of the axon adjacent to the optic disc, among normal mitochondria, there were alterations including giant and swollen mitochondria, as well as crystalline inclusions while the double membrane structure was maintained. In the rat model of acute ocular hypertension, caspase 3 activation increased in the retinal ganglion cell layer on Day 1 after ocular pressure increased. On Day 3, TUNEL-positive cells were expressed in the retinal ganglion cell layer. On Day 7,  50% were positive. It was suggested that an execution mechanism by which axonal transport deficits followed by apoptotic retinal ganglion cell death via abnormal mitochondrial function might be involved in optic nerve damage from glaucoma.

[Photographs]

Photographs

Creation of a rat glaucoma model (microscopy)

Photographs

Altered mitochondria scattered in the axon (electron microscopy)

Photographs

Immunostaining of Caspase 3 in retinal tissue, TUNEL staining finding

[Area] Ophthalmology and visual sciences (neurophthalmology/strabismic amblyopia)

[Research subject] Clarification of clinical conditions for the treatment of anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-positive optic neuritis

[Description]
In patients with anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-positive optic neuritis, the visual acuity prognosis is poor, and this disease frequently recurs; thus, appropriate therapies for improving visual acuity and preventing recurrence need to be considered. We evaluated the course of visual performance after the treatment of anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-positive optic neuritis in collaboration with multiple institutions in Japan. Steroid pulse therapy alone has been shown to improve corrected visual acuity by at least 0.5 3 months after the start of therapy in approximately 44% of patients, but the course of visual acuity was poor in remaining patients. This research provided important evidence on the course of visual performance as the first step for the treatment of anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-positive optic neuritis.

[Photographs]

Photographs

[Area] Ophthalmology and visual sciences (ophthalmic tumor/ophthalmic plastic)

[Research subject] Research on the development of BRAF (V600E) in ocular malignant melanoma

[Description]
For some types of tumors such as primary cutaneous malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer and hairy cell leukemia, oncogenic mutations of BRAF occur. In tumors with BRAF mutations, mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway activation increases, and susceptibility to BRAF and MEK (mitogen-activated or extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase) inhibitors increases. The frequency of BRAF mutations in ocular malignant melanoma will be investigated by our group.


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