Potentiation of glucocorticoid activity by 5 beta-dihydrocortisol: its role in glaucoma

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Science  14 Oct 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4620, pp. 172-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.6623065


5 beta-Dihydrocortisol potentiated the threshold level (the smallest dose producing a measurable effect) of topically applied cortisol (0.02 percent) and dexamethasone (0.003 percent) in causing nuclear translocation of the cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor in rabbit iris-ciliary body tissue. 5 beta-Dihydrocortisol accumulates in cells cultured from trabecular meshwork specimens from patients with primary open-angle glaucoma, but not in similar cells derived from nonglaucomatous patients. In view of the sensitivity of patients with primary open-angle glaucoma to the effects of glucocorticoids in raising intraocular pressure, this potentiation may be responsible for the steroid sensitivity and for the ocular hypertension seen in this disorder.