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Blocking neurodegeneration by radiation and bone marrow transfer prevents inherited glaucoma in mice

aper, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to suggest that high-dose radiation together with bone marrow transfer--treatments in use today for human patients with leukemia and other cancers--could potentially treat glaucoma.

"It is possible that the treatment may also protect against other neurodegenerative diseases, but many experiments are needed to test this," he noted. Conditions in this category include Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Of course, full-body radiation and bone marrow transfer is not an appropriate therapy for human glaucoma. Dr. John said his lab would be investigating whether directing radiation locally to the optic nerve and retina might be equally effective in preventing glaucoma in mice. Ultimately, studies that reveal how the treatment works may lead to new types of therapy for people.

The Jackson Laboratory, founded 75 years ago, is the world's largest mammalian genetics research institution. Its research staff of more than 450 investigates the genetic basis of cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, diabetes, and many other human diseases and disorders. The Laboratory is also the world's source for nearly 3,000 strains of genetically defined mice, home of the Mouse Genome Database and many other publicly available information resources, and an international hub for scientific courses, conferences, training and education.


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Contact: Joyce Peterson
joyce@jax.org
207-288-6058
Jackson Laboratory
10-Mar-2005


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