ResearchPad - photoreceptors https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The qualitative assessment of optical coherence tomography and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7697 To analyze the relationships between qualitative and quantitative parameters of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).Materials and methodsNinety-three eyes of 93 patients were finally enrolled, with a median age (quartile) of 58 (24.5) years. We assessed the patients using SD-OCT and the 10–2 program of a Humphry Field Analyzer (HFA). As a qualitative parameter, two graders independently classified the patients’ SD-OCT images into five severity grades (grades 1–5) based on the severity of damage to the photoreceptor inner and outer segments (IS/OS) layer. As quantitative parameters, we measured the IS-ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) width, IS/OS thickness, outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness, central macular thickness (CMT, 1 and 3 mm) and macular cube (6 × 6 mm) volume and thickness. The central retinal sensitivity was defined by the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; logMAR), average sensitivities of the central 4 (foveal sensitivity [FS]) and 12 (macular sensitivity [MS]) points of the HFA 10–2 program and the mean deviation (MD) of the 10–2 program. Spearman’s correlation was used to assess the association between both qualitative and quantitative parameters and variables of the central retinal sensitivity. In addition, we performed a multiple regression analysis using these parameters to identify the parameters most strongly influencing the central retinal sensitivity.ResultsThe IS/OS severity grade was significantly correlated with the BCVA (ρ = 0.741, P < 0.001), FS (ρ = −0.844, P < 0.001), MS (ρ = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (ρ = −0.681, P < 0.001) and showed stronger correlations to them than any other quantitative parameters including the IS-EZ width, IS/OS thickness, ONL thickness, CMTs and macular cube volume/thickness. Furthermore, a step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that the IS/OS severity grade was more strongly associated with the BCVA (β = 0.659, P < 0.001), FS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001), MS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (β = −0.674, P < 0.001) than any other quantitative parameters. The intraclass correlation coefficient between two graders indicated substantial correlation (κ = 0.70).DiscussionThe qualitative grading of OCT based on the severity of the IS/OS layer was simple and strongly correlated with the central retinal sensitivity in patients with RP. It may be useful to assess the central visual function in patients with RP, although there is some variation in severity within the same severity grade. ]]> <![CDATA[A Notch-mediated, temporal asymmetry in BMP pathway activation promotes photoreceptor subtype diversification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2d9d5eed0c48441ebbe

Neural progenitors produce neurons whose identities can vary as a function of the time that specification occurs. Here, we describe the heterochronic specification of two photoreceptor (PhR) subtypes in the zebrafish pineal gland. We find that accelerating PhR specification by impairing Notch signaling favors the early fate at the expense of the later fate. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we show that most pineal PhRs are born from a fate-restricted progenitor. Furthermore, sister cells derived from the division of PhR-restricted progenitors activate the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway at different times after division, and this heterochrony requires Notch activity. Finally, we demonstrate that PhR identity is established as a function of when the BMP pathway is activated. We propose a novel model in which division of a progenitor with restricted potential generates sister cells with distinct identities via a temporal asymmetry in the activation of a signaling pathway.

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<![CDATA[Regeneration of the zebrafish retinal pigment epithelium after widespread genetic ablation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fefbd5eed0c484135888

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a specialized monolayer of pigmented cells within the eye that is critical for maintaining visual system function. Diseases affecting the RPE have dire consequences for vision, and the most prevalent of these is atrophic (dry) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is thought to result from RPE dysfunction and degeneration. An intriguing possibility for treating RPE degenerative diseases like atrophic AMD is the stimulation of endogenous RPE regeneration; however, very little is known about the mechanisms driving successful RPE regeneration in vivo. Here, we developed a zebrafish transgenic model (rpe65a:nfsB-eGFP) that enabled ablation of large swathes of mature RPE. RPE ablation resulted in rapid RPE degeneration, as well as degeneration of Bruch’s membrane and underlying photoreceptors. Using this model, we demonstrate for the first time that zebrafish are capable of regenerating a functional RPE monolayer after RPE ablation. Regenerated RPE cells first appear at the periphery of the RPE, and regeneration proceeds in a peripheral-to-central fashion. RPE ablation elicits a robust proliferative response in the remaining RPE. Subsequently, proliferative cells move into the injury site and differentiate into RPE. BrdU incorporation assays demonstrate that the regenerated RPE is likely derived from remaining peripheral RPE cells. Pharmacological disruption using IWR-1, a Wnt signaling antagonist, significantly reduces cell proliferation in the RPE and impairs overall RPE recovery. These data demonstrate that the zebrafish RPE possesses a robust capacity for regeneration and highlight a potential mechanism through which endogenous RPE regenerate in vivo.

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<![CDATA[The findings of optical coherence tomography of retinal degeneration in relation to the morphological and electroretinographic features in RPE65−/− mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff13d5eed0c484135aa6

Purpose

Mutations of the gene encoding RPE65 cause Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The optical coherence tomography (OCT) is increasingly utilized to noninvasively evaluate various types of retinal diseases, including RP. The present study was conducted to characterize the OCT findings of the RPE65−/− mice—an animal model of LCA and RP—in relation to the morphological features based on histological and electron microscopic findings as well as electroretinography (ERG) features.

Materials and methods

RPE65−/− mice were employed as a model of retinal degeneration. C57BL/6J mice were used as a wild-type control. OCT was performed on the RPE65−/− mice from postnatal day (P) 22 to 170. The longitudinal changes in the OCT images and fundus pictures were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively in comparison to those of C57BL/6J mice. The OCT images were also compared to the histological and electron microscopic findings. Full field combined rod and cone ERG was performed to analyze the relationship between morphology based on OCT and the amplitudes of the a- and b-waves.

Results

In the RPE65−/− mice, the photoreceptor rod and cone layer appeared as a diffuse hyperreflective zone contiguous with the inner segment ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) on OCT, even on P22, whereas the IS-EZ and interdigitation zone were clearly identified in the age-matched C57BL/6J mice. The histological analyses revealed that the regular arrangement of the photoreceptor inner and outer segments was gradually lost in the RPE65-/- mice. On electron microscopy, most of the rod outer segments were degenerated from P21 to P35, whereas outer segments became variably shorter after P49 although ultrastructure appeared to normalize. The thickness of the outer nuclear layer of RPE65−/− mice was slowly and progressively reduced in comparison to C57BL/6J mice. Although the thickness of the inner and outer segment layer of RPE65−/− mice was significantly decreased in comparison to C57BL/6J mice, the change was not progressive, at least until P170. Even at P35, the amplitudes of both a- and b-waves on ERG were severely deteriorated in comparison to those of C57BL/6J mice. Mottled depigmented spots appeared throughout the fundus in RPE65−/− mice after P72, and were detected as hyperreflective deposits under the retinal pigment epithelium on OCT.

Discussion

The pathological changes in the inner and outer segments layer of RPE65−/− mice were identified as diffuse hyperreflective changes on OCT. The rod outer segments showed degeneration in the early postnatal periods but became morphologically normalized in the disc structure after P49, although the sizes of the length of the rod outer segments were variable. OCT could not qualitatively differentiate the early degeneration of rods from the late variability in size of rods. Although the morphology of the photoreceptor outer segments was relatively preserved in the RPE65−/− mice, the amplitudes of ERG were severely disturbed. These structural and functional deficits may be derived from the defective supply of 11-cis-retinol to the photoreceptors.

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<![CDATA[Patterning the insect eye: From stochastic to deterministic mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf71f6dd5eed0c484dcb59a

While most processes in biology are highly deterministic, stochastic mechanisms are sometimes used to increase cellular diversity. In human and Drosophila eyes, photoreceptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light are distributed in stochastic patterns, and one such patterning system has been analyzed in detail in the Drosophila retina. Interestingly, some species in the dipteran family Dolichopodidae (the “long legged” flies, or “Doli”) instead exhibit highly orderly deterministic eye patterns. In these species, alternating columns of ommatidia (unit eyes) produce corneal lenses of different colors. Occasional perturbations in some individuals disrupt the regular columns in a way that suggests that patterning occurs via a posterior-to-anterior signaling relay during development, and that specification follows a local, cellular-automaton-like rule. We hypothesize that the regulatory mechanisms that pattern the eye are largely conserved among flies and that the difference between unordered Drosophila and ordered dolichopodid eyes can be explained in terms of relative strengths of signaling interactions rather than a rewiring of the regulatory network itself. We present a simple stochastic model that is capable of explaining both the stochastic Drosophila eye and the striped pattern of Dolichopodidae eyes and thereby characterize the least number of underlying developmental rules necessary to produce both stochastic and deterministic patterns. We show that only small changes to model parameters are needed to also reproduce intermediate, semi-random patterns observed in another Doli species, and quantification of ommatidial distributions in these eyes suggests that their patterning follows similar rules.

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<![CDATA[Zebrafish larvae show negative phototaxis to near-infrared light]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084230d5eed0c484fcc1c1

Zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio) are among the most used model species to test biological effects of different substances in biomedical research, neuroscience and ecotoxicology. Most tests are based on changes in swimming activity of zebrafish larvae by using commercially available high-throughput screening systems. These systems record and analyse behaviour patterns using visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) light sources, to simulate day (VIS) and night (NIR) phases, which allow continuous recording of the behaviour using a NIR sensitive camera. So far, however, the sensitivity of zebrafish larvae to NIR has never been tested experimentally, although being a critical piece of information for interpreting their behaviour under experimental conditions. Here, we investigated the swimming activity of 96 hpf (hours post fertilization) and 120 hpf zebrafish larvae under light sources of NIR at 860 nm and at 960 nm wavelength and under VIS light. A thermal source was simultaneously presented opposite to one of the light sources as control. We found that zebrafish larvae of both larval stages showed a clear negative phototactic response towards 860 nm NIR light and to VIS light, but not to 960 nm NIR light. Our results demonstrated that zebrafish larvae are able to perceive NIR at 860 nm, which is almost identical to the most commonly used light source in commercial screening systems (NIR at 850 nm) to create a dark environment. These tests, however, are not performed in the dark from the zebrafish´s point of view. We recommend testing sensitivity of the used test organism before assuming no interaction with the applied light source of commonly used biosensor test systems. Previous studies on biological effects of substances to zebrafish larvae should be interpreted with caution.

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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[Prickle is phosphorylated by Nemo and targeted for degradation to maintain Prickle/Spiny-legs isoform balance during planar cell polarity establishment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b043667463d7e0f0e6b9792

Planar cell polarity (PCP) instructs tissue patterning in a wide range of organisms from fruit flies to humans. PCP signaling coordinates cell behavior across tissues and is integrated by cells to couple cell fate identity with position in a developing tissue. In the fly eye, PCP signaling is required for the specification of R3 and R4 photoreceptors based upon their positioning relative to the dorso-ventral axis. The ‘core’ PCP pathway involves the asymmetric localization of two distinct membrane-bound complexes, one containing Frizzled (Fz, required in R3) and the other Van Gogh (Vang, required in R4). Inhibitory interactions between the cytosolic components of each complex reinforce asymmetric localization. Prickle (Pk) and Spiny-legs (Pk-Sple) are two antagonistic isoforms of the prickle (pk) gene and are cytoplasmic components of the Vang complex. The balance between their levels is critical for tissue patterning, with Pk-Sple being the major functional isoform in the eye. Here we uncover a post-translational role for Nemo kinase in limiting the amount of the minor isoform Pk. We identified Pk as a Nemo substrate in a genome-wide in vitro band-shift screen. In vivo, nemo genetically interacts with pkpk but not pksple and enhances PCP defects in the eye and leg. Nemo phosphorylation limits Pk levels and is required specifically in the R4 photoreceptor like the major isoform, Pk-Sple. Genetic interaction and biochemical data suggest that Nemo phosphorylation of Pk leads to its proteasomal degradation via the Cullin1/SkpA/Slmb complex. dTAK and Homeodomain interacting protein kinase (Hipk) may also act together with Nemo to target Pk for degradation, consistent with similar observations in mammalian studies. Our results therefore demonstrate a mechanism to maintain low levels of the minor Pk isoform, allowing PCP complexes to form correctly and specify cell fate.

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<![CDATA[Instrument design and protocol for the study of light controlled processes in aquatic organisms, and its application to examine the effect of infrared light on zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca5b

The acquisition of reliable data strongly depends on experimental design. When studying the effects of light on processes such as behaviour and physiology it is crucial to maintain all environmental conditions constant apart from the one under study. Furthermore, the precise values of the environmental factors applied during the experiment should be known. Although seemingly obvious, these conditions are often not met when the effects of light are being studied. Here, we document and discuss the wavelengths and light intensities of natural and artificial light sources. We present standardised experimental protocols together with building plans of a custom made instrument designed to accurately control light and temperature for experiments using fresh water or marine species. Infrared light is commonly used for recording behaviour and in electrophysiological experiments although the properties of fish photoreceptors potentially allow detection into the far red. As an example of our experimental procedure we have applied our protocol and instrument to specifically test the impact of infrared light (840 nm) on the zebrafish circadian clock, which controls many aspects of behaviour, physiology and metabolism. We demonstrate that infrared light does not influence the zebrafish circadian clock. Our results help to provide a solid framework for the future study of light dependent processes in aquatic organisms.

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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[OFD1, as a Ciliary Protein, Exhibits Neuroprotective Function in Photoreceptor Degeneration Models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb49d7

Ofd1 is a newly identified causative gene for Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a photoreceptor degenerative disease. This study aimed to examine Ofd1 localization in retina and further to investigate its function in photoreceptor degeneration models. Ofd1 localization in rat retina was examined using immunofluorescence. N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced rats and Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats were used as photoreceptor degeneration models. The expression pattern of Ofd1, other ciliary associated genes and Wnt signaling pathway genes were examined in rat models. Furthermore, pEGFP-Ofd1-CDS and pSUPER-Ofd1-shRNA were constructed to overexpress and knockdown the expression level in 661W and R28 cells. MNU was also used to induce cell death. Cilia formation was observed using immunocytochemistry (ICC). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) were detected using the 2', 7'-Dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay. Apoptosis genes expression was examined using qRT-PCR, Western blotting and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Ofd1 localized to outer segments of rat retina photoreceptors. Ofd1 and other ciliary proteins expression levels increased from the 1st and 4th postnatal weeks and decreased until the 6th week in the RCS rats, while their expression consistently decreased from the 1st and 7th day in the MNU rats. Moreover, Wnt signaling pathway proteins expression was significantly up-regulated in both rat models. Knockdown of Ofd1 expression resulted in a smaller population, shorter length of cell cilia, and lower cell viability. Ofd1 overexpression partially attenuated MNU toxic effects by reducing ROS levels and mitigating apoptosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating Ofd1 localization and its function in rat retina and in retinal degeneration rat models. Ofd1 plays a role in controlling photoreceptor cilium length and number. Importantly, it demonstrates a neuroprotective function by protecting the photoreceptor from oxidative stress and apoptosis. These data have expanded our understanding of Ofd1 function beyond cilia, and we concluded that ofd1 neuroprotection could be a potential treatment strategy in retina degeneration models.

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<![CDATA[cGMP-Phosphodiesterase Inhibition Prevents Hypoxia-Induced Cell Death Activation in Porcine Retinal Explants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da07ab0ee8fa60b76416

Retinal hypoxia and oxidative stress are involved in several retinal degenerations including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, central retinal artery occlusion, or retinopathy of prematurity. The second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) has been reported to be protective for neuronal cells under several pathological conditions including ischemia/hypoxia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the accumulation of cGMP through the pharmacological inhibition of phosphodiesterase (PDE) with Zaprinast prevented retinal degeneration induced by mild hypoxia in cultures of porcine retina. Exposure to mild hypoxia (5% O2) for 24h reduced cGMP content and induced retinal degeneration by caspase dependent and independent (PARP activation) mechanisms. Hypoxia also produced a redox imbalance reducing antioxidant response (superoxide dismutase and catalase activities) and increasing superoxide free radical release. Zaprinast reduced mild hypoxia-induced cell death through inhibition of caspase-3 or PARP activation depending on the cell layer. PDE inhibition also ameliorated the effects of mild hypoxia on antioxidant response and the release of superoxide radical in the photoreceptor layer. The use of a PKG inhibitor, KT5823, suggested that cGMP-PKG pathway is involved in cell survival and antioxidant response. The inhibition of PDE, therefore, could be useful for reducing retinal degeneration under hypoxic/ischemic conditions.

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<![CDATA[Assessing Sexual Dicromatism: The Importance of Proper Parameterization in Tetrachromatic Visual Models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad9ab0ee8fa60bb8fb4

Perceptual models of animal vision have greatly contributed to our understanding of animal-animal and plant-animal communication. The receptor-noise model of color contrasts has been central to this research as it quantifies the difference between two colors for any visual system of interest. However, if the properties of the visual system are unknown, assumptions regarding parameter values must be made, generally with unknown consequences. In this study, we conduct a sensitivity analysis of the receptor-noise model using avian visual system parameters to systematically investigate the influence of variation in light environment, photoreceptor sensitivities, photoreceptor densities, and light transmission properties of the ocular media and the oil droplets. We calculated the chromatic contrast of 15 plumage patches to quantify a dichromatism score for 70 species of Galliformes, a group of birds that display a wide range of sexual dimorphism. We found that the photoreceptor densities and the wavelength of maximum sensitivity of the short-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptor 1 (SWS1) can change dichromatism scores by 50% to 100%. In contrast, the light environment, transmission properties of the oil droplets, transmission properties of the ocular media, and the peak sensitivities of the cone photoreceptors had a smaller impact on the scores. By investigating the effect of varying two or more parameters simultaneously, we further demonstrate that improper parameterization could lead to differences between calculated and actual contrasts of more than 650%. Our findings demonstrate that improper parameterization of tetrachromatic visual models can have very large effects on measures of dichromatism scores, potentially leading to erroneous inferences. We urge more complete characterization of avian retinal properties and recommend that researchers either determine whether their species of interest possess an ultraviolet or near-ultraviolet sensitive SWS1 photoreceptor, or present models for both.

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<![CDATA[Relation between macular morphology and treatment frequency during twelve months with ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc514

Purpose

To investigate whether baseline optical coherence tomography (OCT) parameters can predict the treatment frequency of intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) injections during the first year in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) treated with pro re nata (PRN) IVR injections.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed 68 eyes of 63 patients with center-involved DME who received IVR injections for 12 months or longer according to three monthly IVR injections followed by the PRN dosing. We measured the mean retinal thicknesses in the individual subfields of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study grid and evaluated the qualitative and quantitative parameters on OCT sectional images. We investigated the relationship between these OCT parameters at baseline and the number of IVR injections during the 12-month follow-up.

Results

Three loading doses were administered to 10 eyes; four to seven annualized IVR injections were administered to 34 eyes. The number of eyes that received IVR injections decreased gradually until month 6 and was almost constant from months 7 to 11. No relationships were seen between the treatment frequency and baseline systemic factors and the ophthalmic examination findings. Univariate analyses showed that the number of IVR injections during the first year was associated with the mean retinal thickness in the individual subfields and the transverse length of the disrupted external limiting membrane (ELM) and ellipsoid zone of the photoreceptors. Multivariate analysis showed a significant association with the thickness in the inferior subfield alone. The treatment frequency during the 12-month follow-up was not correlated with improved visual acuity but was associated with the decrease in the central subfield thickness and disrupted ELM.

Conclusion

The retinal thickness in the inferior subfield predicts the treatment frequency during the first year in eyes with DME treated with PRN IVR injections.

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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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<![CDATA[The Par-PrkC Polarity Complex Is Required for Cilia Growth in Zebrafish Photoreceptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafcab0ee8fa60bc520e

Specification and development of the apical membrane in epithelial cells requires the function of polarity proteins, including Pard3 and an atypical protein kinase C (PrkC). Many epithelial cells possess microtubule-based organelles, known as cilia, that project from their apical surface and the membrane surrounding the cilium is contiguous with the apical cell membrane. Although cilia formation in cultured cells required Pard3, the in vivo requirement for Pard3 in cilia development remains unknown. The vertebrate photoreceptor outer segment represents a highly specialized cilia structure in which to identify factors necessary for apical and ciliary membrane formation. Pard3 and PrkC localized to distinct domains within vertebrate photoreceptors. Using partial morpholino knockdown, photo-morpholinos, and pharmacological approaches, the function of Pard3 and PrkC were found to be required for the formation of both the apical and ciliary membrane of vertebrate photoreceptors. Inhibition of Pard3 or PrkC activity significantly reduced the size of photoreceptor outer segments and resulted in mislocalization of rhodopsin. Suppression of Pard3 or PrkC also led to a reduction in cilia size and cilia number in Kupffer’s Vesicle, which resulted in left-right asymmetry defects. Thus, the Par-PrkC complex functions in cilia formation in vivo and this likely reflects a general role in specifying non-ciliary and ciliary compartments of the apical domain.

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<![CDATA[Structure-Function Modeling of Optical Coherence Tomography and Standard Automated Perimetry in the Retina of Patients with Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa3ab0ee8fa60ba6815

Purpose

To assess relationships between structural and functional biomarkers, including new topographic measures of visual field sensitivity, in patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa.

Methods

Spectral domain optical coherence tomography line scans and hill of vision (HOV) sensitivity surfaces from full-field standard automated perimetry were semi-automatically aligned for 60 eyes of 35 patients. Structural biomarkers were extracted from outer retina b-scans along horizontal and vertical midlines. Functional biomarkers were extracted from local sensitivity profiles along the b-scans and from the full visual field. These included topographic measures of functional transition such as the contour of most rapid sensitivity decline around the HOV, herein called HOV slope for convenience. Biomarker relationships were assessed pairwise by coefficients of determination (R2) from mixed-effects analysis with automatic model selection.

Results

Structure-function relationships were accurately modeled (conditional R2>0.8 in most cases). The best-fit relationship models and correlation patterns for horizontally oriented biomarkers were different than vertically oriented ones. The structural biomarker with the largest number of significant functional correlates was the ellipsoid zone (EZ) width, followed by the total photoreceptor layer thickness. The strongest correlation observed was between EZ width and HOV slope distance (marginal R2 = 0.85, p<10−10). The mean sensitivity defect at the EZ edge was 7.6 dB. Among all functional biomarkers, the HOV slope mean value, HOV slope mean distance, and maximum sensitivity along the b-scan had the largest number of significant structural correlates.

Conclusions

Topographic slope metrics show promise as functional biomarkers relevant to the transition zone. EZ width is strongly associated with the location of most rapid HOV decline.

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<![CDATA[Role of Myo/Nog Cells in Neuroprotection: Evidence from the Light Damaged Retina]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0cc1

Purpose

To identify Myo/Nog cells in the adult retina and test their role in protecting retinal photoreceptors from light damage.

Methods

Light damage was induced by exposing albino rats raised in dim cyclic light to 1000 lux light for 24 hours. In one group of rats, Myo/Nog cells were purified from rat brain tissue by magnetic cell sorting following binding of the G8 monoclonal antibody (mAb). These cells were injected into the vitreous humour of the eye within 2 hours following bright light exposure. Retinal function was assessed using full-field, flash electroretinogram (ERG) before and after treatment. The numbers of Myo/Nog cells, apoptotic photoreceptors, and the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in Muller cells were assessed by immunohistochemistry.

Results

Myo/Nog cells were present in the undamaged retina in low numbers. Light induced damage increased their numbers, particularly in the choroid, ganglion cell layer and outer plexiform layer. Intravitreal injection of G8-positive (G8+) cells harvested from brain mitigated all the effects of light damage examined, i.e. loss of retinal function (ERG), death of photoreceptors and the stress-induced expression of GFAP in Muller cells. Some of the transplanted G8+ cells were integrated into the retina from the vitreous.

Conclusions

Myo/Nog cells are a subpopulation of cells that are present in the adult retina. They increase in number in response to light induced stress. Intravitreal injection of Myo/Nog cells was protective to the retina, in part, by reducing retinal stress as measured by the Muller cell response. These results suggest that Myo/Nog cells, or the factors they produce, are neuroprotective and may be therapeutic in neurodegenerative retinal diseases.

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<![CDATA[Limited ATF4 Expression in Degenerating Retinas with Ongoing ER Stress Promotes Photoreceptor Survival in a Mouse Model of Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db23ab0ee8fa60bcfa88

T17M rhodopsin expression in rod photoreceptors leads to severe retinal degeneration and is associated with the activation of ER stress related Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) signaling. Here, we show a novel role of a UPR transcription factor, ATF4, in photoreceptor cellular pathology. We demonstrated a pro-death role for ATF4 overexpression during autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP). Based on our results in ATF4 knockout mice and adeno-associated viral (AAV) delivery of ATF4 to the retina, we validated a novel therapeutic approach targeting ATF4 over the course of retinal degeneration. In T17M rhodopsin retinas, we observed ATF4 overexpression concomitantly with reduction of p62 and elevation of p53 levels. These molecular alterations, together with increased CHOP and caspase-3/7 activity, possibly contributed to the mechanism of photoreceptor cell loss. Conversely, ATF4 knockdown retarded retinal degeneration in 1-month-old T17M Rhodopsin mice and promoted photoreceptor survival, as measured by scotopic and photopic ERGs and photoreceptor nuclei row counts. Similarly, ATF4 knockdown also markedly delayed retinal degeneration in 3-month-old ADRP animals. This delay was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in UPR signaling, the launching of anti-oxidant defense, initiation of autophagy, and improvement of rhodopsin biosynthesis which together perhaps combat the cellular stress associated with T17M rhodopsin. Our data indicate that augmented ATF4 signals during retinal degeneration plays a cytotoxic role by triggering photoreceptor cell death. Future ADRP therapy regulating ATF4 expression can be developed to treat retinal degenerative disorders associated with activated UPR.

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<![CDATA[High-speed adaptive optics line scan confocal retinal imaging for human eye]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe3e

Purpose

Continuous and rapid eye movement causes significant intraframe distortion in adaptive optics high resolution retinal imaging. To minimize this artifact, we developed a high speed adaptive optics line scan confocal retinal imaging system.

Methods

A high speed line camera was employed to acquire retinal image and custom adaptive optics was developed to compensate the wave aberration of the human eye’s optics. The spatial resolution and signal to noise ratio were assessed in model eye and in living human eye. The improvement of imaging fidelity was estimated by reduction of intra-frame distortion of retinal images acquired in the living human eyes with frame rates at 30 frames/second (FPS), 100 FPS, and 200 FPS.

Results

The device produced retinal image with cellular level resolution at 200 FPS with a digitization of 512×512 pixels/frame in the living human eye. Cone photoreceptors in the central fovea and rod photoreceptors near the fovea were resolved in three human subjects in normal chorioretinal health. Compared with retinal images acquired at 30 FPS, the intra-frame distortion in images taken at 200 FPS was reduced by 50.9% to 79.7%.

Conclusions

We demonstrated the feasibility of acquiring high resolution retinal images in the living human eye at a speed that minimizes retinal motion artifact. This device may facilitate research involving subjects with nystagmus or unsteady fixation due to central vision loss.

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