ResearchPad - ganglion-cells https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Low-rate firing limit for neurons with axon, soma and dendrites driven by spatially distributed stochastic synapses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13830 Neurons are extended cells with multiple branching dendrites, a cell body and an axon. In an active neuronal network, neurons receive vast numbers of incoming synaptic pulses throughout their dendrites and cell body that each exhibit significant variability in amplitude and arrival time. The resulting synaptic input causes voltage fluctuations throughout their structure that evolve in space and time. The dynamics of how these signals are integrated and how they ultimately trigger outgoing spikes have been modelled extensively since the late 1960s. However, until relatively recently the majority of the mathematical formulae describing how fluctuating synaptic drive triggers action potentials have been applicable only for small neurons with the dendritic and axonal structure ignored. This has been largely due to the mathematical complexity of including the effects of spatially distributed synaptic input. Here we show that in a physiologically relevant, low-firing-rate regime, an approximate level-crossing approach can be used to provide an estimate for the neuronal firing rate even when the dendrites and axons are included. We illustrate this approach using basic neuronal morphologies that capture the fundamentals of neuronal structure. Though the models are simple, these preliminary results show that it is possible to obtain useful formulae that capture the effects of spatially distributed synaptic drive. The generality of these results suggests they will provide a mathematical framework for future studies that might require the structure of neurons to be taken into account, such as the effect of electrical fields or multiple synaptic input streams that target distinct spatial domains of cortical pyramidal cells.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective effects of exogenous erythropoietin in Wistar rats by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate N-methyl-D-aspartate-mediated retinal ganglion cells death]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85685bba-c047-422b-abfc-358a98ed1fe7

The aim of this study was to investigate whether exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) administration attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage in Wistar rats. The survival rate of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated by flat mount analysis and flow cytometry. A total of 125 male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to five groups: negative control, NMDA80 (i.e., 80 nmoles NMDA intravitreally injected), NMDA80 + 10ng EPO, NMDA80 + 50ng EPO, and NMDA80 + 250ng EPO. The NMDA80 + 50ng EPO treatment group was used to evaluate various administrated points (pre-/co-/post- administration of NMDA80). Meanwhile, the transferase dUTP Nick-End Labeling (TUNEL) assay of RGCs, the inner plexiform layer (IPL) thickness and the apoptotic signal transduction pathways of μ-calpain, Bax, and caspase 9 were assessed simultaneously using an immunohistochemical method (IHC). When EPO was co-administered with NMDA80, attenuated cell death occurred through the downregulation of the apoptotic indicators: μ-calpain was activated first (peak at ~18hrs), followed by Bax and caspase 9 (peak at ~40hrs). Furthermore, the images of retinal cross sections have clearly demonstrated that thickness of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) was significantly recovered at 40 hours after receiving intravitreal injection with NMDA80 and 50ng EPO. Exogenous EPO may protect RGCs and bipolar cell axon terminals in IPL by downregulating apoptotic factors to attenuate NMDA-mediated excitotoxic retinal damage.

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<![CDATA[Tuft dendrites of pyramidal neurons operate as feedback-modulated functional subunits]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897706d5eed0c4847d22c8

Dendrites of pyramidal cells exhibit complex morphologies and contain a variety of ionic conductances, which generate non-trivial integrative properties. Basal and proximal apical dendrites have been shown to function as independent computational subunits within a two-layer feedforward processing scheme. The outputs of the subunits are linearly summed and passed through a final non-linearity. It is an open question whether this mathematical abstraction can be applied to apical tuft dendrites as well. Using a detailed compartmental model of CA1 pyramidal neurons and a novel theoretical framework based on iso-response methods, we first show that somatic sub-threshold responses to brief synaptic inputs cannot be described by a two-layer feedforward model. Then, we relax the core assumption of subunit independence and introduce non-linear feedback from the output layer to the subunit inputs. We find that additive feedback alone explains the somatic responses to synaptic inputs to most of the branches in the apical tuft. Individual dendritic branches bidirectionally modulate the thresholds of their input-output curves without significantly changing the gains. In contrast to these findings for precisely timed inputs, we show that neuronal computations based on firing rates can be accurately described by purely feedforward two-layer models. Our findings support the view that dendrites of pyramidal neurons possess non-linear analog processing capabilities that critically depend on the location of synaptic inputs. The iso-response framework proposed in this computational study is highly efficient and could be directly applied to biological neurons.

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<![CDATA[The primate-specific peptide Y-P30 regulates morphological maturation of neocortical dendritic spines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca0bd5eed0c48452a6fd

The 30-amino acid peptide Y-P30 corresponds to the N-terminus of the primate-specific, sweat gland-derived dermcidin prepropeptide. Previous work has revealed that Y-P30 enhances the interaction of pleiotrophin and syndecans-2/3, and thus represents a natural ligand to study this signaling pathway. In immature neurons, Y-P30 activates the c-Src and p42/44 ERK kinase pathway, increases the amount of F-actin in axonal growth cones, and promotes neuronal survival, cell migration and axonal elongation. The action of Y-P30 on axonal growth requires syndecan-3 and heparan sulfate side chains. Whether Y-P30 has the potential to influence dendrites and dendritic protrusions has not been explored. The latter is suggested by the observations that syndecan-2 expression increases during postnatal development, that syndecan-2 becomes enriched in dendritic spines, and that overexpression of syndecan-2 in immature neurons results in a premature morphological maturation of dendritic spines. Here, analysing rat cortical pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons in organotypic cultures, we show that Y-P30 does not alter the development of the dendritic arborization patterns. However, Y-P30 treatment decreases the density of apical, but not basal dendritic protrusions at the expense of the filopodia. Analysis of spine morphology revealed an unchanged mushroom/stubby-to-thin spine ratio and a shortening of the longest decile of dendritic protrusions. Whole-cell recordings from cortical principal neurons in dissociated cultures grown in the presence of Y-P30 demonstrated a decrease in the frequency of glutamatergic mEPSCs. Despite these differences in protrusion morphology and synaptic transmission, the latter likely attributable to presynaptic effects, calcium event rate and amplitude recorded in pyramidal neurons in organotypic cultures were not altered by Y-P30 treatment. Together, our data suggest that Y-P30 has the capacity to decelerate spinogenesis and to promote morphological, but not synaptic, maturation of dendritic protrusions.

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<![CDATA[Neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effects of CRMP-5 on retinal ganglion cells in an experimental in vivo and in vitro model of glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521853d5eed0c484797c19

Purpose

To analyze the potential neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative effects of Collapsin-response-mediator-protein-5 (CRMP-5) on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) using in vitro and in vivo animal models of glaucoma.

Methods

Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) was induced in adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats by cauterization of three episcleral veins. Changes in CRMP-5 expression within the retinal proteome were analyzed via label-free mass spectrometry. In vitro, retinal explants were cultured under elevated pressure (60 mmHg) within a high-pressure incubation chamber with and without addition of different concentrations of CRMP-5 (4 μg/l, 200 μg/l and 400 μg/l). In addition, retinal explants were cultured under regenerative conditions with and without application of 200 μg/l CRMP-5 after performing an optic nerve crush (ONC). Thirdly, an antibody against Protein Kinase B (PKB) was added to examine the possible effects of CRMP-5. RGC count was performed. Number and length of the axons were determined and compared. To undermine a signal-transduction pathway via CRMP-5 and PKB microarray and immunohistochemistry were performed.

Results

CRMP-5 was downregulated threefold in animals showing chronically elevated IOP. The addition of CRMP-5 to retinal culture significantly increased RGC numbers under pressure in a dose-dependent manner and increased and elongated outgrowing axons in retinal explants significantly which could be blocked by PKB. Especially the number of neurites longer than 400 μm significantly increased after application of CRMP-5. CRMP-5 as well as PKB were detected higher in the experimental than in the control group.

Conclusion

CRMP-5 seems to play an important role in an animal model of glaucoma. Addition of CRMP-5 exerts neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative effects in vitro. This effect could be mediated via activation of PKB affecting intra-cellular apoptosis pathways.

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<![CDATA[Mouse model of ocular hypertension with retinal ganglion cell degeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466550d5eed0c4845188e3

Objectives

Ocular hypertension is a primary risk factor for glaucoma and results in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration. Current animal models of glaucoma lack severe RGC cell death as seen in glaucoma, making assessment of physiological mediators of cell death difficult. We developed a modified mouse model of ocular hypertension whereby long-lasting elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) is achieved, resulting in significant reproducible damage to RGCs.

Results

In this model, microbeads are mixed with hyaluronic acid and injected into the anterior chamber of C57BL/6J mice. The hyaluronic acid allows for a gradual release of microbeads, resulting in sustained blockage of Schlemm’s canal. IOP elevation was bimodal during the course of the model’s progression. The first peak occurred 1 hours after beads injection, with an IOP value of 44.69 ± 6.00 mmHg, and the second peak occurred 6–12 days post-induction, with an IOP value of 34.91 ± 5.21 mmHg. RGC damage was most severe in the peripheral retina, with a loss of 64.1% compared to that of untreated eyes, while the midperiphery exhibited a 32.4% loss, 4 weeks following disease induction.

Conclusions

These results suggest that sustained IOP elevation causes more RGC damage in the periphery than in the midperiphery of the retina. This model yields significant and reproducible RGC degeneration.

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<![CDATA[Early alterations in hippocampal perisomatic GABAergic synapses and network oscillations in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease amyloidosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c3dd5eed0c484bd1017

Several lines of evidence imply changes in inhibitory interneuron connectivity and subsequent alterations in oscillatory network activities in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Recently, we provided evidence for an increased immunoreactivity of both the postsynaptic scaffold protein gephyrin and the GABAA receptor γ2-subunit in the hippocampus of young (1 and 3 months of age), APPPS1 mice. These mice represent a well-established model of cerebral amyloidosis, which is a hallmark of human AD. In this study, we demonstrate a robust increase of parvalbumin immunoreactivity and accentuated projections of parvalbumin positive (PV+) interneurons, which target perisomatic regions of pyramidal cells within the hippocampal subregions CA1 and CA3 of 3-month-old APPPS1 mice. Colocalisation studies confirmed a significant increase in the density of PV+ projections labeled with antibodies against a presynaptic (vesicular GABA transporter) and a postsynaptic marker (gephyrin) of inhibitory synapses within the pyramidal cell layer of CA1 and CA3. As perisomatic inhibition by PV+-interneurons is crucial for the generation of hippocampal network oscillations involved in spatial processing, learning and memory formation we investigated the impact of the putative enhanced perisomatic inhibition on two types of fast neuronal network oscillations in acute hippocampal slices: 1. spontaneously occurring sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-R), and 2. cholinergic γ-oscillations. Interestingly, both network patterns were generally preserved in APPPS1 mice similar to WT mice. However, the comparison of simultaneous CA3 and CA1 recordings revealed that the incidence and amplitude of SPW-Rs were significantly lower in CA1 vs CA3 in APPPS1 slices, whereas the power of γ-oscillations was significantly higher in CA3 vs CA1 in WT-slices indicating an impaired communication between the CA3 and CA1 network activities in APPPS1 mice. Taken together, our data demonstrate an increased GABAergic synaptic output of PV+ interneurons impinging on pyramidal cells of CA1 and CA3, which might limit the coordinated cross-talk between these two hippocampal areas in young APPPS1 mice and mediate long-term changes in synaptic inhibition during progression of amyloidosis.

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<![CDATA[Using computational models to predict in vivo synaptic inputs to interneuron specific 3 (IS3) cells of CA1 hippocampus that also allow their recruitment during rhythmic states]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3e50b5d5eed0c484d84993

Brain coding strategies are enabled by the balance of synaptic inputs that individual neurons receive as determined by the networks in which they reside. Inhibitory cell types contribute to brain function in distinct ways but recording from specific, inhibitory cell types during behaviour to determine their contributions is highly challenging. In particular, the in vivo activities of vasoactive intestinal peptide-expressing interneuron specific 3 (IS3) cells in the hippocampus that only target other inhibitory cells are unknown at present. We perform a massive, computational exploration of possible synaptic inputs to IS3 cells using multi-compartment models and optimized synaptic parameters. We find that asynchronous, in vivo-like states that are sensitive to additional theta-timed inputs (8 Hz) exist when excitatory and inhibitory synaptic conductances are approximately equally balanced and with low numbers of activated synapses receiving correlated inputs. Specifically, under these balanced conditions, the input resistance is larger with higher mean spike firing rates relative to other activated synaptic conditions investigated. Incoming theta-timed inputs result in strongly increased spectral power relative to baseline. Thus, using a generally applicable computational approach we predict the existence and features of background, balanced states in hippocampal circuits.

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<![CDATA[Automated algorithms combining structure and function outperform general ophthalmologists in diagnosing glaucoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b31d5eed0c484698343

Purpose

To test the ability of machine learning classifiers (MLCs) using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and standard automated perimetry (SAP) parameters to discriminate between healthy and glaucomatous individuals, and to compare it to the diagnostic ability of the combined structure-function index (CSFI), general ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists.

Design

Cross-sectional prospective study.

Methods

Fifty eight eyes of 58 patients with early to moderate glaucoma (median value of the mean deviation = −3.44 dB; interquartile range, -6.0 to -2.4 dB) and 66 eyes of 66 healthy individuals underwent OCT and SAP tests. The diagnostic accuracy (area under the ROC curve—AUC) of 10 MLCs was compared to those obtained with the CSFI, 3 general ophthalmologists and 3 glaucoma specialists exposed to the same OCT and SAP data.

Results

The AUCs obtained with MLCs ranged from 0.805 (Classification Tree) to 0.931 (Radial Basis Function Network, RBF). The sensitivity at 90% specificity ranged from 51.6% (Classification Tree) to 82.8% (Bagging, Multilayer Perceptron and Support Vector Machine Gaussian). The CSFI had a sensitivity of 79.3% at 90% specificity, and the highest AUC (0.948). General ophthalmologists and glaucoma specialists’ grading had sensitivities of 66.2% and 83.8% at 90% specificity, and AUCs of 0.879 and 0.921, respectively. RBF (the best MLC), the CSFI, and glaucoma specialists showed significantly higher AUCs than that obtained by general ophthalmologists (P<0.05). However, there were no significant differences between the AUCs obtained by RBF, the CSFI, and glaucoma specialists (P>0.25).

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that both MLCs and the CSFI can be helpful in clinical practice and effectively improve glaucoma diagnosis in the primary eye care setting, when there is no glaucoma specialist available.

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<![CDATA[Functional architecture of the foveola revealed in the living primate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841b8d5eed0c484fca8ba

The primate foveola, with its high cone density and magnified cortical representation, is exquisitely specialized for high-resolution spatial vision. However, uncovering the wiring of retinal circuitry responsible for this performance has been challenging due to the difficulty in recording receptive fields of foveal retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in vivo. In this study, we use adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) to image the calcium responses of RGCs in the living primate, with a stable, high precision visual stimulus that allowed us to localize the receptive fields of hundreds of foveal ganglion cells. This approach revealed a precisely radial organization of foveal RGCs, despite the many distortions possible during the extended developmental migration of foveal cells. By back projecting the line connecting RGC somas to their receptive fields, we have been able to define the ‘physiological center’ of the foveola, locating the vertical meridian separating left and right hemifields in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive feature detection from differential processing in parallel retinal pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfdb370d5eed0c4845c97bf

To transmit information efficiently in a changing environment, the retina adapts to visual contrast by adjusting its gain, latency and mean response. Additionally, the temporal frequency selectivity, or bandwidth changes to encode the absolute intensity when the stimulus environment is noisy, and intensity differences when noise is low. We show that the On pathway of On-Off retinal amacrine and ganglion cells is required to change temporal bandwidth but not other adaptive properties. This remarkably specific adaptive mechanism arises from differential effects of contrast on the On and Off pathways. We analyzed a biophysical model fit only to a cell’s membrane potential, and verified pharmacologically that it accurately revealed the two pathways. We conclude that changes in bandwidth arise mostly from differences in synaptic threshold in the two pathways, rather than synaptic release dynamics as has previously been proposed to underlie contrast adaptation. Different efficient codes are selected by different thresholds in two independently adapting neural pathways.

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<![CDATA[Firing-rate based network modeling of the dLGN circuit: Effects of cortical feedback on spatiotemporal response properties of relay cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0de463d7e0d4a37a6e7

Visually evoked signals in the retina pass through the dorsal geniculate nucleus (dLGN) on the way to the visual cortex. This is however not a simple feedforward flow of information: there is a significant feedback from cortical cells back to both relay cells and interneurons in the dLGN. Despite four decades of experimental and theoretical studies, the functional role of this feedback is still debated. Here we use a firing-rate model, the extended difference-of-Gaussians (eDOG) model, to explore cortical feedback effects on visual responses of dLGN relay cells. For this model the responses are found by direct evaluation of two- or three-dimensional integrals allowing for fast and comprehensive studies of putative effects of different candidate organizations of the cortical feedback. Our analysis identifies a special mixed configuration of excitatory and inhibitory cortical feedback which seems to best account for available experimental data. This configuration consists of (i) a slow (long-delay) and spatially widespread inhibitory feedback, combined with (ii) a fast (short-delayed) and spatially narrow excitatory feedback, where (iii) the excitatory/inhibitory ON-ON connections are accompanied respectively by inhibitory/excitatory OFF-ON connections, i.e. following a phase-reversed arrangement. The recent development of optogenetic and pharmacogenetic methods has provided new tools for more precise manipulation and investigation of the thalamocortical circuit, in particular for mice. Such data will expectedly allow the eDOG model to be better constrained by data from specific animal model systems than has been possible until now for cat. We have therefore made the Python tool pyLGN which allows for easy adaptation of the eDOG model to new situations.

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<![CDATA[Receptors of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism, GPR91 and GPR99, mediate axon growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0e7463d7e0d4a37a6ed

During the development of the visual system, high levels of energy are expended propelling axons from the retina to the brain. However, the role of intermediates of carbohydrate metabolism in the development of the visual system has been overlooked. Here, we report that the carbohydrate metabolites succinate and α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and their respective receptor—GPR91 and GPR99—are involved in modulating retinal ganglion cell (RGC) projections toward the thalamus during visual system development. Using ex vivo and in vivo approaches, combined with pharmacological and genetic analyses, we revealed that GPR91 and GPR99 are expressed on axons of developing RGCs and have complementary roles during RGC axon growth in an extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2)-dependent manner. However, they have no effects on axon guidance. These findings suggest an important role for these receptors during the establishment of the visual system and provide a foundational link between carbohydrate metabolism and axon growth.

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<![CDATA[Heterogeneous firing responses predict diverse couplings to presynaptic activity in mice layer V pyramidal neurons]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf258

In this study, we present a theoretical framework combining experimental characterizations and analytical calculus to capture the firing rate input-output properties of single neurons in the fluctuation-driven regime. Our framework consists of a two-step procedure to treat independently how the dendritic input translates into somatic fluctuation variables, and how the latter determine action potential firing. We use this framework to investigate the functional impact of the heterogeneity in firing responses found experimentally in young mice layer V pyramidal cells. We first design and calibrate in vitro a simplified morphological model of layer V pyramidal neurons with a dendritic tree following Rall's branching rule. Then, we propose an analytical derivation for the membrane potential fluctuations at the soma as a function of the properties of the synaptic input in dendrites. This mathematical description allows us to easily emulate various forms of synaptic input: either balanced, unbalanced, synchronized, purely proximal or purely distal synaptic activity. We find that those different forms of dendritic input activity lead to various impact on the somatic membrane potential fluctuations properties, thus raising the possibility that individual neurons will differentially couple to specific forms of activity as a result of their different firing response. We indeed found such a heterogeneous coupling between synaptic input and firing response for all types of presynaptic activity. This heterogeneity can be explained by different levels of cellular excitability in the case of the balanced, unbalanced, synchronized and purely distal activity. A notable exception appears for proximal dendritic inputs: increasing the input level can either promote firing response in some cells, or suppress it in some other cells whatever their individual excitability. This behavior can be explained by different sensitivities to the speed of the fluctuations, which was previously associated to different levels of sodium channel inactivation and density. Because local network connectivity rather targets proximal dendrites, our results suggest that this aspect of biophysical heterogeneity might be relevant to neocortical processing by controlling how individual neurons couple to local network activity.

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<![CDATA[Polo-Like Kinase 3 Appears Dispensable for Normal Retinal Development Despite Robust Embryonic Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc775a

During retinogenesis seven different cell types are generated in distinct yet overlapping timepoints from a population of retinal progenitor cells. Previously, we performed single cell transcriptome analyses of retinal progenitor cells to identify candidate genes that may play roles in the generation of early-born retinal neurons. Based on its expression pattern in subsets of early retinal cells, polo-like kinase 3 (Plk3) was identified as one such candidate gene. Further characterization of Plk3 expression by in situ hybridization revealed that this gene is expressed as cells exit the cell cycle. We obtained a Plk3 deficient mouse and investigated changes in the retina’s morphology and transcriptome through immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and gene expression profiling. These experiments have been performed initially on adult mice and subsequently extended throughout retinal development. Although morphological studies revealed no consistent changes in retinogenesis upon Plk3 loss, microarray profiling revealed potential candidate genes altered in Plk3-KO mice. Further studies will be necessary to understand the connection between these changes in gene expression and the loss of a protein kinase such as Plk3.

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<![CDATA[Novel Models of Visual Topographic Map Alignment in the Superior Colliculus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc0e83

The establishment of precise neuronal connectivity during development is critical for sensing the external environment and informing appropriate behavioral responses. In the visual system, many connections are organized topographically, which preserves the spatial order of the visual scene. The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain nucleus that integrates visual inputs from the retina and primary visual cortex (V1) to regulate goal-directed eye movements. In the SC, topographically organized inputs from the retina and V1 must be aligned to facilitate integration. Previously, we showed that retinal input instructs the alignment of V1 inputs in the SC in a manner dependent on spontaneous neuronal activity; however, the mechanism of activity-dependent instruction remains unclear. To begin to address this gap, we developed two novel computational models of visual map alignment in the SC that incorporate distinct activity-dependent components. First, a Correlational Model assumes that V1 inputs achieve alignment with established retinal inputs through simple correlative firing mechanisms. A second Integrational Model assumes that V1 inputs contribute to the firing of SC neurons during alignment. Both models accurately replicate in vivo findings in wild type, transgenic and combination mutant mouse models, suggesting either activity-dependent mechanism is plausible. In silico experiments reveal distinct behaviors in response to weakening retinal drive, providing insight into the nature of the system governing map alignment depending on the activity-dependent strategy utilized. Overall, we describe novel computational frameworks of visual map alignment that accurately model many aspects of the in vivo process and propose experiments to test them.

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<![CDATA[Scanning laser optical tomography for in toto imaging of the murine cochlea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcab4

The mammalian cochlea is a complex macroscopic structure due to its helical shape and the microscopic arrangements of the individual layers of cells. To improve the outcomes of hearing restoration in deaf patients, it is important to understand the anatomic structure and composition of the cochlea ex vivo. Hitherto, only one histological technique based on confocal laser scanning microscopy and optical clearing has been developed for in toto optical imaging of the murine cochlea. However, with a growing size of the specimen, e.g., human cochlea, this technique reaches its limitations. Here, we demonstrate scanning laser optical tomography (SLOT) as a valuable imaging technique to visualize the murine cochlea in toto without any physical slicing. This technique can also be applied in larger specimens up to cm3 such as the human cochlea. Furthermore, immunolabeling allows visualization of inner hair cells (otoferlin) or spiral ganglion cells (neurofilament) within the whole cochlea. After image reconstruction, the 3D dataset was used for digital segmentation of the labeled region. As a result, quantitative analysis of position, length and curvature of the labeled region was possible. This is of high interest in order to understand the interaction of cochlear implants (CI) and cells in more detail.

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<![CDATA[Upregulation of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) during the Early Stage of Optic Nerve Regeneration in Zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da20ab0ee8fa60b7e8fb

Fish retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) can regenerate their axons after optic nerve injury, whereas mammalian RGCs normally fail to do so. Interleukin 6 (IL-6)-type cytokines are involved in cell differentiation, proliferation, survival, and axon regrowth; thus, they may play a role in the regeneration of zebrafish RGCs after injury. In this study, we assessed the expression of IL-6-type cytokines and found that one of them, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), is upregulated in zebrafish RGCs at 3 days post-injury (dpi). We then demonstrated the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a downstream target of LIF, at 3–5 dpi. To determine the function of LIF, we performed a LIF knockdown experiment using LIF-specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (LIF MOs). LIF MOs, which were introduced into zebrafish RGCs via a severed optic nerve, reduced the expression of LIF and abrogated the activation of STAT3 in RGCs after injury. These results suggest that upregulated LIF drives Janus kinase (Jak)/STAT3 signaling in zebrafish RGCs after nerve injury. In addition, the LIF knockdown impaired axon sprouting in retinal explant culture in vitro; reduced the expression of a regeneration-associated molecule, growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43); and delayed functional recovery after optic nerve injury in vivo. In this study, we comprehensively demonstrate the beneficial role of LIF in optic nerve regeneration and functional recovery in adult zebrafish.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the Abilities of SD-OCT and SS-OCT in Evaluating the Thickness of the Macular Inner Retinal Layer for Glaucoma Diagnosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da50ab0ee8fa60b8dc4e

Purpose

To compare the abilities of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) (SD-OCT; Spectralis, Heidelberg Engineering) and swept-source OCT (SS-OCT; DRI-OCT1 Atlantis system, Topcon) for analyzing the macular inner retinal layers in diagnosing glaucoma.

Methods

The study included 60 patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and 60 healthy control subjects. Macular cube area was scanned using SD-OCT and SS-OCT on the same day to assess the thicknesses of the macular retinal nerve fiber layer (mRNFL), ganglion cell layer plus inner plexiform layer (GCIPL), and total retinal layer in nine subfields defined by the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS). The abilities of the parameters to discriminate between the POAG and control groups were assessed using areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs).

Results

Glaucoma-associated mRNFL and GCIPL thinning was more common in the outer zones than inner zones for both SD-OCT and SS-OCT. The mRNFL and GCIPL measurements showed distinct pattern differences between SD-OCT and SS-OCT in each ETDRS subfield. Although the glaucoma-diagnosis ability was comparable between SD-OCT and SS-OCT for most of the parameters, AUC was significantly larger for SD-OCT measurements of the GCIPL thickness in the outer temporal zones (p = 0.003) and of the mRNFL thickness in the outer nasal zones (p = 0.001), with the former having the largest AUC for discriminating POAG from healthy eyes (AUC = 0.894).

Conclusion

Spectralis SD-OCT and DRI SS-OCT have similar glaucoma-diagnosis abilities based on macular inner layer thickness analysis. However, Spectralis SD-OCT was potentially superior to DRI SS-OCT in detecting GCIPL thinning in the outer temporal zone, where the glaucomatous damage predominantly occurs.

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<![CDATA[Cold Shock Proteins Are Expressed in the Retina Following Exposure to Low Temperatures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60bade28

Hypothermia has been proposed as a therapeutic intervention for some retinal conditions, including ischemic insults. Cold exposure elevates expression of cold-shock proteins (CSP), including RNA-binding motif protein 3 (RBM3) and cold inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRP), but their presence in mammalian retina is so far unknown. Here we show the effects of hypothermia on the expression of these CSPs in retina-derived cell lines and in the retina of newborn and adult rats. Two cell lines of retinal origin, R28 and mRPE, were exposed to 32°C for different time periods and CSP expression was measured by qRT-PCR and Western blotting. Neonatal and adult Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to a cold environment (8°C) and expression of CSPs in their retinas was studied by Western blotting, multiple inmunofluorescence, and confocal microscopy. RBM3 expression was upregulated by cold in both R28 and mRPE cells in a time-dependent fashion. On the other hand, CIRP was upregulated in R28 cells but not in mRPE. In vivo, expression of CSPs was negligible in the retina of newborn and adult rats kept at room temperature (24°C). Exposure to a cold environment elicited a strong expression of both proteins, especially in retinal pigment epithelium cells, photoreceptors, bipolar, amacrine and horizontal cells, Müller cells, and ganglion cells. In conclusion, CSP expression rapidly rises in the mammalian retina following exposure to hypothermia in a cell type-specific pattern. This observation may be at the basis of the molecular mechanism by which hypothermia exerts its therapeutic effects in the retina.

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