Retinal ganglion cell apoptotic pathway in glaucoma: Initiating and downstream mechanisms

Hani Levkovitch-Verbin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in glaucoma causes progressive visual field loss, making it the primary cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Elevated intraocular pressure and aging, the main risk factors for glaucoma, accelerate RGC apoptosis. Numerous pathways and mechanisms were found to be involved in RGC death in glaucoma. Neurotrophic factors deprivation is an early event. Oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, glial cell dysfunction, and activation of apoptotic pathways and prosurvival pathways play a significant role in RGC death in glaucoma. The most important among the involved pathways are the MAP-kinase pathway, PI-3 kinase/Akt pathway, Bcl-2 family, caspase family, and IAP family.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Brain Research
EditorsCarlo Nucci, Giacinto Bagetta
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780444635662
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Caspase
  • Glaucoma
  • MAP kinase
  • Optic nerve
  • Retinal ganglion cells
  • Signal transduction


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