Improving outcomes in retinal detachment: The potential role of rho-kinase inhibitors

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Purpose of reviewRetinal detachment initiates a series of events that lead to degenerative changes in retinal synaptic architecture as well as the well-known phenomena of gliosis and photoreceptor apoptosis. Retinal reattachment does not always result in complete visual recovery, even if the fovea is not directly involved in the detachment. Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitors may mitigate some of these deleterious changes including disruption of synaptic architecture, photoreceptor apoptosis, and initiation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition that characterizes proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). This review focuses on the use of ROCK inhibitors to modulate synaptic disjunction.Recent findingsROCK inhibition prevents retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor synaptic terminal retraction (i.e., synaptic disjunction), thereby diminishing the damage of the first synapse in the visual pathway. ROCK inhibition also reduces retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor apoptosis and suppresses PVR progression in preclinical models.SummaryInhibition of ROCK may help to optimize visual recovery after retinal detachment surgery or iatrogenic detachments during cell transplantation or viral subretinal injection and might play a role in reducing the risk of PVR after retinal detachment surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-198
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


  • cellular remodeling
  • photoreceptor
  • retinal detachment
  • rho-kinase inhibitors
  • rod-bipolar synapse


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