Objective—To investigate whether differences existed between clinically normal dogs and dogs with goniodysgenesis-related glaucoma (GDRG) in serum autoantibodies against optic nerve antigens.
Animals—16 dogs with GDRG, 17 healthy dogs with unremarkable pectinate ligament and iridocorneal angle morphology, and 13 euthanized dogs with no major ocular abnormalities or underlying diseases.
Procedures—Western blotting was performed with optic nerve extracts from the euthanized dogs as an antigen source and serum from clinically normal dogs and dogs with GDRG as a primary antibody (autoantibody) source. Blots were evaluated for presence and density of bands.
Results—Multiple bands were identified on western blots from all dogs with GDRG and all clinically normal dogs, with a high degree of variability among individual dogs. Dogs with GDRG were significantly more likely than healthy dogs to have bands present at 38, 40, and 68 kDa. Dogs with GDRG had significant increases in autoreactivity at 40 and 53 kDa and a significant decrease in autoreactivity at 48 kDa.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant differences in serum autoantibodies against optic nerve antigens were found in dogs with versus without GDRG. Although it remains unclear whether these differences were part of the pathogenesis of disease or were sequelae to glaucomatous changes, these findings provide support for the hypothesis that immune-mediated mechanisms play a role in the development or progression of GDRG. However, the high degree of variability among individual dogs and the considerable overlap between groups suggest that the clinical usefulness of this technique for distinguishing dogs with GDRG from clinically normal dogs is likely limited.