This review aims to provide a better understanding of the emerging role of mitophagy in glaucomatous neurodegeneration, which is the primary cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Increasing evidence from genetic and other experimental studies suggests that mitophagy-related genes are implicated in the pathogenesis of glaucoma in various populations. The association between polymorphisms in these genes and increased risk of glaucoma is presented. Reduction in intraocular pressure (IOP) is currently the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, while clinical trials highlight the inadequacy of IOP-lowering therapeutic approaches to prevent sight loss in many glaucoma patients. Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to increase the susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) to other risk factors and is implicated in glaucomatous degeneration. Mitophagy holds a vital role in mitochondrial quality control processes, and the current review explores the mitophagy-related pathways which may be linked to glaucoma and their therapeutic potential.
Keywords: genetics; glaucoma; glaucomatous neurodegeneration; mitochondria; mitochondrial dysfunction; mitophagy; primary open-angle glaucoma.