The non-human primate experimental glaucoma model

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Abstract

The purpose of this report is to summarize the current strengths and weaknesses of the non-human primate (NHP) experimental glaucoma (EG) model through sections devoted to its history, methods, important findings, alternative optic neuropathy models and future directions. NHP EG has become well established for studying human glaucoma in part because the NHP optic nerve head (ONH) shares a close anatomic association with the human ONH and because it provides the only means of systematically studying the very earliest visual system responses to chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation, i.e. the conversion from ocular hypertension to glaucomatous damage. However, NHPs are impractical for studies that require large animal numbers, demonstrate spontaneous glaucoma only rarely, do not currently provide a model of the neuropathy at normal levels of IOP, and cannot easily be genetically manipulated, except through tissue-specific, viral vectors. The goal of this summary is to direct NHP EG and non-NHP EG investigators to the previous, current and future accomplishment of clinically relevant knowledge in this model.

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