Role of BDNF/TrkB pathway in the visual system: therapeutic implications for glaucoma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction: Neuroprotective therapeutics are needed to treat glaucoma, an optic neuropathy that results in death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Areas covered: The BDNF/TrkB pathway is important for RGC survival. Temporal and spatial alterations in the BDNF/TrkB pathway occur in development and in response to acute optic nerve injury and to glaucoma. In animal models, BDNF supplementation is successful at slowing RGC death after acute optic nerve injury and in glaucoma, however, the BDNF/TrkB signaling is not the only pathway supporting long term RGC survival. Expert commentary: Much remains to be discovered about the interaction between retrograde, anterograde, and retinal BDNF/TrkB signaling pathways in both neurons and glia. An ideal therapeutic agent for glaucoma likely has several modes of action that target multiple mechanisms of neurodegeneration including the BDNF/TrkB pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • BDNF
  • Glaucoma
  • TrkB
  • neuroprotection
  • retinal ganglion cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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