The Factors Affecting the Stability of IOP Homeostasis
June 16, 2024

The Factors Affecting the Stability of IOP Homeostasis

Purpose: Shear-induced nitric oxide (NO) production by Schlemm's canal (SC) endothelial cells provides a fast, IOP-sensitive feedback signal that normally contributes to IOP homeostasis. Our goal was to analyze the response of this homeostatic system under constant flow perfusion (as occurs in vivo) vs. constant pressure perfusion (as typical for laboratory perfusions).

Methods: A mathematical model of aqueous humor dynamics, including shear-mediated NO signaling, was formulated and analyzed for stability. The model includes Goldmann's equation, accounting for proximal and distal outflow resistance, and describes how elevated IOP causes narrowing of SC lumen that increases the shear stress on SC cells. Elevated shear stress stimulates NO production, which acts to reduce outflow resistance and relax trabecular meshwork cells to decrease trabecular meshwork stiffness, affecting the SC luminal caliber.

Results: During constant flow perfusion, the outflow system is typically stable, returning to baseline IOP after a perturbation. In contrast, during constant pressure perfusion, the outflow system can become unstable and exhibit a time-dependent change in outflow resistance that diverges from baseline.

Conclusions: The stability of shear mediated IOP homeostasis is predicted to differ critically between constant flow vs. constant pressure perfusion. Because outflow facility is typically measured at a constant pressure in the laboratory, this instability may contribute to the characteristic time-dependent increase in outflow facility, known as washout, observed in many nonhuman species. Studies of IOP homeostasis should consider how the outflow system may respond differently under constant pressure vs. constant flow perfusion.

*Author(s): Darryl R. Overby; C. Ross Ethier; Changxu Miao; Ruth A. Kelly; Ester Reina-Torres; W. Daniel Stamer

Experimental Paper of the Month manager: Anthony Khawaja

Editorial Board: Humma Shahid, Karl Mercieca, Francisco Goni

Editors in Chief: Francesco Oddone, Manuele Michelessi