We investigated a possible molecular pathogenesis involving retinal ganglion cell apoptosis following transient high intraocular pressure. Changes in the gene expression profiles of the retina were detected via gene chip methodology. Twelve New Zealand white rabbits were randomly assigned to control and 3-min negative pressure suction groups. The control group was treated only with a laser, and the experimental group was also treated with suction for 3 min, using a negative pressure generator. Total RNA was then extracted from the retinal tissue at different recovery stages to analyze gene expression profiles using the Agilent rabbit one-way gene chip. The groups were then compared. Immediately after negative pressure suction induction, 704 genes were differentially expressed. Among these, 485 genes were upregulated, and 219 were downregulated. Expression of the genes encoding CRYAA, CRYAB, and TLR3 genes, which are involved in apoptosis, was elevated. The KRT18 gene, which is involved in apoptosis, had reduced expression. Seven days after negative pressure suction, 482 genes were differentially expressed. Among these, 178 genes were upregulated, and 304 were downregulated. Expression of the genes encoding CRYAB, IL1-BETA and IL1R1, which are involved in apoptosis, was upregulated. Ten days after negative pressure suction, 402 genes were differentially expressed. Of these, 213 genes were upregulated, and 189were downregulated. Apoptosis genes CRYAB, CRYBA3, CRYBB2, IL1- BETA, and IL1R1 showed higher expression levels. We concluded that negative pressure suction for long periods of time (for example, 3 min) results in changes in gene expression. Genes with higher fold changes help protect retinal ganglion cells from apoptosis. We suggest that promoting the expression of these genes should be considered as a new means for treating ischemic-hypoxic retinopathy.