A New Angle on Ocular Development

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Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1527-1528
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082933

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Primary congenital glaucoma is a tragic blinding disease characterized by developmental defects in the meshwork that drains fluid from the eye resulting in an elevated intraocular pressure. In a Perspective, Alward discusses work by Libby et al. showing that double mutant mice with mutations in the CYP1B1 gene and lacking the enzyme tyrosinase have severe developmental ocular abnormalities similar to those of human primary congenital glaucoma patients. However, the severity of the abnormalities was reduced by providing the mothers of these mice with-dopa, the product of tyrosinase, thus opening the door to a potential new therapy for treating some forms of glaucoma.