Glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness. An abnormal increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor for the development of this disease. Currently, the only available treatment method for glaucoma therapy is to lower the IOP. Intraocular pressure is regulated by a delicate balance between the rate of aqueous humor production and its outflow. An upset of this balance, such as a reduction in outflow rate, can generate a destructive ocular hypertension and subsequently lead to retinopathy and optic neuropathy. It is therefore important to understand the involvement of various biological molecules in the regulation of aqueous hydrodynamics.
Biologically active peptides have been studied and demonstrated to affect IOP. This review article summarizes the published literature on the effects of various peptides and related compounds, such as peptide receptor agonist, antagonists, and compounds that affect the synthesis or degradation of particular peptides, on IOP. The endothelins, natriuretic peptides, and components of the renin- angiotensin cascade are among the most studied peptides in this research area.
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