Aims: Vascular perfusion may be impaired in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG); thus, we evaluated a panel of markers in vascular tone-regulating genes in relation to POAG.
Methods: We used Illumina 660W-Quad array genotype data and pooled P-values from 3108 POAG cases and 3430 controls from the combined National Eye Institute Glaucoma Human Genetics Collaboration consortium and Glaucoma Genes and Environment studies. Using information from previous literature and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, we compiled single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 186 vascular tone-regulating genes. We used the 'Pathway Analysis by Randomization Incorporating Structure' analysis software, which performed 1000 permutations to compare the overall pathway and selected genes with comparable randomly generated pathways and genes in their association with POAG.
Results: The vascular tone pathway was not associated with POAG overall or POAG subtypes, defined by the type of visual field loss (early paracentral loss (n=224 cases) or only peripheral loss (n=993 cases)) (permuted P≥0.20). In gene-based analyses, eight were associated with POAG overall at permuted P<0.001: PRKAA1, CAV1, ITPR3, EDNRB, GNB2, DNM2, HFE, and MYL9. Notably, six of these eight (the first six listed) code for factors involved in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity, and three of these six (CAV1, ITPR3, and EDNRB) were also associated with early paracentral loss at P<0.001, whereas none of the six genes reached P<0.001 for peripheral loss only.
Discussion: Although the assembled vascular tone SNP set was not associated with POAG, genes that code for local factors involved in setting vascular tone were associated with POAG.