Description of Research Expertise
The Cui lab seeks to understand glaucoma pathogenesis and identify effective treatments for this blinding disease.
ophthalmology; glaucoma; neuroinflammation; neuroprotection; oxidative stress; mitochondria; retinal ganglion cells; optic nerve; intraocular pressure; GLP-1 receptor agonists; iron chelation
Glaucoma is characterized by retinal ganglion cell loss and optic nerve degeneration. It is the leading cause of irreversible blindness projected to affect 112 million people by 2040. Elevated intraocular pressure is a well-known risk factor in this disease, and intraocular pressure reduction is the predominant therapy for slowing progression. Because glaucoma continues to progress in a significant number of patients despite intraocular pressure normalization, new therapies targeting different pathogenic mechanisms are urgently needed to prevent vision loss in these patients.
The Cui lab seeks to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms contributing to glaucoma and identify new and innovative therapies for glaucoma. My lab is actively evaluating GLP-1 receptors agonists, a class of diabetic and weight loss medication, as neuroprotective agents in glaucoma (Sterling et al. Cell Reports. 2020; Sterling et al. Br J Ophthalmol. 2021). In collaboration with the lab of Joshua Dunaief, we showed iron chelation is effective for rescuing retinal ganglion cells and promoting optic nerve axon survival in an animal model of glaucoma. Finally, we are characterizing a mouse with inherited deficits affecting the mitochondrial electron transport chain resulting in retinal ganglion cell loss as a model of normal tension glaucoma.
Additional information can be found at the lab website:
Cui QN, Stein LM, Fortin SM, Hayes MR: The role of glia in the physiology and pharmacology of glucagon-like peptide-1: implications for obesity, diabetes, neurodegeneration and glaucoma Br J Pharmacol 179 (4): 715-726,2022.
Adetunji MO, Meer E, Whitehead G, Hua P, Badami A, Addis V, Gorry T, Lehman A, Sankar PS, Miller-Ellis E, Ying GS, Cui QN.: Self-identified Black Race is a Risk Factor for Intraocular Pressure Elevation and Iritis Following Prophylactic Laser Peripheral Iridotomy J Glaucoma : 2022.
Sterling J, Hua P, Dunaief JL, Cui QN, VanderBeek BL.: Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist use is associated with reduced risk for glaucoma Br J Ophthalmol : 2021.
Cui QN, Hays RD, Tarver ME, Spaeth GL, Paz SH, Weidmer B, Fellman RL, Vold SD, Eydelman M, Singh K.: Vision-Targeted Health-Related Quality-of-Life Survey for Evaluating Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery Am J Ophthalmol 229 : 145-151,2021.
Guo M, Schwartz TD, Dunaief JL, Cui QN: Myeloid cells in retinal and brain degeneration FEBS J : 2021.
Cui Qi N, Bargoud Albert R, Ross Ahmara G, Song Ying, Dunaief Joshua L: Oral administration of the iron chelator deferiprone protects against loss of retinal ganglion cells in a mouse model of glaucoma. Experimental eye research 193 : 107961,2020.
Li T, Le JT, Hays RD, Cui QN, Eydelman M, Spaeth G, Tarver ME, Singh K: Patient-reported outcomes measures and patient preferences for minimally invasive glaucoma surgical devices. Eye (London, England) 34 (1): 205-210,2020.
Sterling JK, Adetunji MO, Guttha S, Bargoud AR, Uyhazi K, Ross AG, Dunaief JL, Cui QN: GLP-1 Receptor Agonist NLY01 Reduces Retinal Inflammation and Neuron Death Secondary to Ocular Hypertension. Cell Reports 33 (5): 108271,2020.
Cui Qi N, Gray Iga N, Yu Yinxi, VanderBeek Brian L: Repeated intravitreal injections of antivascular endothelial growth factors and risk of intraocular pressure medication use. Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie 257 (9): 1931-1939,2019.
Cui Qi N, Hsia Yen C, Lin Shan C, Stamper Robert L, Rose-Nussbaumer Jennifer, Mehta Nitisha, Porco Travis C, Naseri Ayman, Han Ying: Effect of mitomycin c and 5-flurouracil adjuvant therapy on the outcomes of Ahmed glaucoma valve implantation. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology 45 (2): 128-134,2017.
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