Microscope studies of the inner ear in rats with chronic vitamin A deficiency have rendered contradicting results. In our electron microscope study of the sensory cells of the inner ear in young rats with vitamin A deficiency we found that the cuticle is missing in outer hair cells. In the inner hair cells the cuticle is subtotally lacking. Furthermore, we found changes in the reticular system of the intermediate zone and massive degenerative changes in the afferent nerve system including the ganglion cells of the ganglion spirale cochleae. These morphological changes together with the recent findings of high concentrations of vitamin A in Corti's organ support the hypothesis that the acoustic sensory receptors contain of functionally depend upon vitamin A.
Hayashida, Yuki; Partida, Gloria J.; Ishida, Andrew T.
We describe here methods for dissociating retinal ganglion cells from adult goldfish and rat without proteolytic enzymes, and show responses of ganglion cells isolated this way to step-wise voltage changes and fluctuating current injections. Taking advantage of the laminar organization of vertebrate retinas, photoreceptors and other cells were lifted away from the distal side of freshly isolated goldfish retinas, after contact with pieces of membrane filter. Likewise, cells were sliced away from the distal side of freshly isolated rat retinas, after these adhered to a membrane filter. The remaining portions of retina were incubated in an enzyme-free, low Ca2+ solution, and triturated. After aliquots of the resulting cell suspension were plated, ganglion cells could be identified by dye retrogradely transported via the optic nerve. These cells showed no obvious morphological degeneration for several days of culture. Perforated-patch whole-cell recordings showed that the goldfish ganglion cells spike tonically in response to depolarizing constant current injections, that these spikes are temporally precise in response to fluctuating current injections, and that the largest voltage-gated Na+ currents of these cells were larger than those of ganglion cells isolated with a neutral protease. PMID:15196824
Coombs, J; van der List, D; Wang, G-Y; Chalupa, L M
The mouse retina offers an increasingly valuable model for vision research given the possibilities for genetic manipulation. Here we assess how the structural properties of mouse retinal ganglion cells relate to the stratification pattern of the dendrites of these neurons within the inner plexiform layer. For this purpose, we used 14 morphological measures to classify mouse retinal ganglion cells parametrically into different clusters. Retinal ganglion cells were labeled in one of three ways: Lucifer Yellow injection, 'DiOlistics' or transgenic expression of yellow fluorescent protein. The resulting analysis of 182 cells revealed 10 clusters of monostratified cells, with dendrites confined to either On or Off sublaminae of the inner plexiform layer, and four clusters of bistratified cells, dendrites spanning the On and Off sublaminae. We also sought to establish how these parametrically identified retinal ganglion cell clusters relate to cell types identified previously on the basis of immunocytochemical staining and the expression of yellow fluorescent protein. Cells labeled with an antibody against melanopsin were found to be located within a single cluster, while those labeled with the SMI-32 antibody were in four different clusters. Yellow fluorescent protein expressing cells were distributed within 13 of the 14 clusters identified here, which demonstrates that yellow fluorescent protein expression is a useful method for labeling virtually the entire population of mouse retinal ganglion cells. Collectively, these findings provide a valuable baseline for future studies dealing with the effects of genetic mutations on the morphological development of these neurons.
Osborne, Neville N
Retinal ganglion cell axons within the globe are functionally specialized being richly provided with many mitochondria. The mitochondria produce the high energy requirement for nerve conduction in the unmyelinated part of the ganglion cell axons. We have proposed that in the initiation of glaucoma, an alteration in the quality of blood flow dynamics in the optic nerve head causes a compromise in the retinal ganglion cell axon energy requirement, rendering the ganglion cells susceptible to additional insults. One secondary insult might be light entering the eye to further affect ganglion cell axon mitochondrial function. Other insults to the ganglion cells might be substances (e.g., glutamate, nitric oxide, TNF-alpha) released from astrocytes. These effects ultimately cause ganglion cell death because of the inability of mitochondria to maintain normal function. We therefore suggest that ganglion cell apoptosis in glaucoma is both receptor and mitochondrial mediated. Agents targeted specifically at enhancing ganglion cell mitochondrial energy production should therefore be beneficial in a disease like glaucoma. Ganglion cell death in glaucoma might therefore, in principle, not be unlike the pathophysiology of numerous neurological disorders involving energy dysregulation and oxidative stress. The trigger(s) for ganglion cell apoptosis in glaucoma is/are likely to be multifactorial, and the rationale for targeting impaired energy production as a possibility of improving a patient's quality of life is based on logic derived from laboratory studies where neuronal apoptosis is shown to occur via different mechanisms. Light-induced neuronal apoptosis is likely to be more relevant to ganglion cell death in glaucoma than, for example, neuronal apoptosis associated with Parkinson's disease. Logic suggests that enhancing mitochondrial function generally will slow down ganglion cell apoptosis and therefore benefit glaucoma patients. On the basis of our laboratory studies, we
Ahumada, Albert J.
Unsupervised learning models have been proposed based on experience (Ahumada and Mulligan, 1990;Wachtler, Doi, Lee and Sejnowski, 2007) that allow the cortex to develop units with LM specific color opponent receptive fields like the blob cells reported by Hubel and Wiesel on the basis of visual experience. These models used ganglion cells with LM indiscriminate wiring as inputs to the learning mechanism, which was presumed to occur at the cortical level.
Meister, Markus; Lagnado, Leon; Baylor, Denis A.
To analyze the rules that govern communication between eye and brain, visual responses were recorded from an intact salamander retina. Parallel observation of many retinal ganglion cells with a microelectrode array showed that nearby neurons often fired synchronously, with spike delays of less than 10 milliseconds. The frequency of such synchronous spikes exceeded the correlation expected from a shared visual stimulus up to 20-fold. Synchronous firing persisted under a variety of visual stimuli and accounted for the majority of action potentials recorded. Analysis of receptive fields showed that concerted spikes encoded information not carried by individual cells; they may represent symbols in a multineuronal code for vision.
Yin, Kathleen; Baillie, Gregory J
Background Dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived immortal cell lines including ND7/23 and F-11 cells have been used extensively as in vitro model systems of native peripheral sensory neurons. However, while it is clear that some sensory neuron-specific receptors and ion channels are present in these cell lines, a systematic comparison of the molecular targets expressed by these cell lines with those expressed in intact peripheral neurons is lacking. Results In this study, we examined the expression of RNA transcripts in the human neuroblastoma-derived cell line, SH-SY5Y, and two dorsal root ganglion hybridoma cell lines, F-11 and ND7/23, using Illumina next-generation sequencing, and compared the results with native whole murine dorsal root ganglions. The gene expression profiles of these three cell lines did not resemble any specific defined dorsal root ganglion subclass. The cell lines lacked many markers for nociceptive sensory neurons, such as the Transient receptor potential V1 gene, but expressed markers for both myelinated and unmyelinated neurons. Global gene ontology analysis on whole dorsal root ganglions and cell lines showed similar enrichment of biological process terms across all samples. Conclusions This paper provides insights into the receptor repertoire expressed in common dorsal root ganglion neuron-derived cell lines compared with whole murine dorsal root ganglions, and illustrates the limits and potentials of these cell lines as tools for neuropharmacological exploration. PMID:27130590
Walsh, C.; Polley, E.H.
The ganglion cells of the cat's retina form several classes distinguishable in terms of soma size, axon diameter, dendritic morphology, physiological properties, and central connections. Labeling with (/sup 3/H)thymidine shows that the ganglion cells which survive in the adult are produced as several temporally shifted, overlapping waves: medium-sized cells are produced before large cells, whereas the smallest ganglion cells are produced throughout the period of ganglion cell generation. Large cells and medium-sized cells show the same distinctive pattern of production, forming rough spirals around the area centralis. The oldest cells tend to lie superior and nasal to the area centralis, whereas cells in the inferior nasal retina and inferior temporal retina are, in general, progressively younger. Within each retinal quadrant, cells nearer the area centralis tend to be older than cells in the periphery, but there is substantial overlap. The retinal raphe divides the superior temporal quadrant into two zones with different patterns of cell addition. Superior temporal retina near the vertical meridian adds cells only slightly later than superior nasal retina, whereas superior temporal retina near the horizontal meridian adds cells very late, contemporaneously with inferior temporal retina. The broader wave of production of smaller ganglion cells seems to follow this same spiral pattern at its beginning and end. The presence of the area centralis as a nodal point about which ganglion cell production in the retinal quadrants pivots suggests that the area centralis is already an important retinal landmark even at the earliest stages of retinal development.
Pickard, Gary E.; So, Kwok-Fai; Pu, Mingliang
Retinal ganglion Y (alpha) cells are found in retinas ranging from frogs to mice to primates. The highly conserved nature of the large, fast conducting retinal Y cell is a testament to its fundamental task, although precisely what this task is remained ill-defined. The recent discovery that Y-alpha retinal ganglion cells send axon collaterals to the serotonergic dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in addition to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), medial interlaminar nucleus (MIN), pretectum and the superior colliculus (SC) has offered new insights into the important survival tasks performed by these cells with highly branched axons. We propose that in addition to its role in visual perception, the Y-alpha retinal ganglion cell provides concurrent signals via axon collaterals to the DRN, the major source of serotonergic afferents to the forebrain, to dramatically inhibit 5-HT activity during orientation or alerting/escape responses, which dis-facilitates ongoing tonic motor activity while dis-inhibiting sensory information processing throughout the visual system. The new data provide a fresh view of these evolutionarily old retinal ganglion cells. PMID:26363667
Lee, Sherwin C.; Ishida, Andrew T.
Antisera directed against hyperpolarization-activated mixed-cation (“Ih”) and K+ (“Kir”) channels bind to some somata in the ganglion cell layer of rat and rabbit retina. Additionally, the termination of hyperpolarizing current injections can trigger spikes in some cat retinal ganglion cells, suggesting a rebound depolarization due to activation of Ih. However, patch-clamp studies have reported that rat ganglion cells lack inward rectification, or present an inwardly rectifying K+ current. We therefore tested whether hyperpolarization activates Ih in dissociated, adult rat retinal ganglion cell somata. We report here that while we found no inward rectification in some cells, and a Kir-like current in a few cells, hyperpolarization activated Ih in roughly 75% of the cells we recorded from in voltage clamp. We show that this current is blocked by Cs+ or ZD7288 and only slightly reduced by Ba2+, that the current amplitude and reversal potential are sensitive to extracellular Na+ and K+, and that we found no evidence of Kir in cells presenting Ih. In current clamp, injecting hyperpolarizing current induced a slowly relaxing membrane hyperpolarization that rebounded to a few action potentials when the hyperpolarizing current was stopped; both the membrane potential relaxation and rebound spikes were blocked by ZD7288. These results provide the first measurement of Ih in mammalian retinal ganglion cells, and indicate that the ion channels of rat retinal ganglion cells may vary in ways not expected from previous voltage and current recordings. PMID:17488978
Abbas, Syed Y.; Hamade, Khaldoun C.; Yang, Ellen J.; Nawy, Scott; Smith, Robert G.; Pettit, Diana L.
Retinal ganglion cells receive inputs from multiple bipolar cells which must be integrated before a decision to fire is made. Theoretical studies have provided clues about how this integration is accomplished but have not directly determined the rules regulating summation of closely timed inputs along single or multiple dendrites. Here we have examined dendritic summation of multiple inputs along On ganglion cell dendrites in whole mount rat retina. We activated inputs at targeted locations by uncaging glutamate sequentially to generate apparent motion along On ganglion cell dendrites in whole mount retina. Summation was directional and dependent13 on input sequence. Input moving away from the soma (centrifugal) resulted in supralinear summation, while activation sequences moving toward the soma (centripetal) were linear. Enhanced summation for centrifugal activation was robust as it was also observed in cultured retinal ganglion cells. This directional summation was dependent on hyperpolarization activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels as blockade with ZD7288 eliminated directionality. A computational model confirms that activation of HCN channels can override a preference for centripetal summation expected from cell anatomy. This type of direction selectivity could play a role in coding movement similar to the axial selectivity seen in locust ganglion cells which detect looming stimuli. More generally, these results suggest that non-directional retinal ganglion cells can discriminate between input sequences independent of the retina network. PMID:23516351
An animal's ability to perceive the external world is conditioned by its capacity to extract and encode specific features of the visual image. The output of the vertebrate retina is not a simple representation of the 2D visual map generated by photon absorptions in the photoreceptor layer. Rather, spatial, temporal, direction selectivity and color "dimensions" of the original image are distributed in the form of parallel output channels mediated by distinct retinal ganglion cell (RGC) populations. We propose that visual information transmitted to the brain includes additional, light-independent, inputs that reflect the functional states of the retina, anterior eye and the body. These may include the local ion microenvironment, glial metabolism and systemic parameters such as intraocular pressure, temperature and immune activation which act on ion channels that are intrinsic to RGCs. We particularly focus on light-independent mechanical inputs that are associated with physical impact, cell swelling and intraocular pressure as excessive mechanical stimuli lead to the counterintuitive experience of "pressure phosphenes" and/or debilitating blinding disease such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. We point at recently discovered retinal mechanosensitive ion channels as examples through which molecular physiology brings together Greek phenomenology, modern neuroscience and medicine. Thus, RGC output represents a unified picture of the embodied context within which vision takes place.
Struebing, Felix L.; Lee, Richard K.; Williams, Robert W.; Geisert, Eldon E.
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the output neuron of the eye, transmitting visual information from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain. The importance of RGCs for vision is demonstrated in blinding diseases where RGCs are lost, such as in glaucoma or after optic nerve injury. In the present study, we hypothesize that normal RGC function is transcriptionally regulated. To test our hypothesis, we examine large retinal expression microarray datasets from recombinant inbred mouse strains in GeneNetwork and define transcriptional networks of RGCs and their subtypes. Two major and functionally distinct transcriptional networks centering around Thy1 and Tubb3 (Class III beta-tubulin) were identified. Each network is independently regulated and modulated by unique genomic loci. Meta-analysis of publically available data confirms that RGC subtypes are differentially susceptible to death, with alpha-RGCs and intrinsically photosensitive RGCs (ipRGCs) being less sensitive to cell death than other RGC subtypes in a mouse model of glaucoma. PMID:27733864
Balendra, S I; Normando, E M; Bloom, P A; Cordeiro, M F
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and will affect 79.6 million people worldwide by 2020. It is caused by the progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), predominantly via apoptosis, within the retinal nerve fibre layer and the corresponding loss of axons of the optic nerve head. One of its most devastating features is its late diagnosis and the resulting irreversible visual loss that is often predictable. Current diagnostic tools require significant RGC or functional visual field loss before the threshold for detection of glaucoma may be reached. To propel the efficacy of therapeutics in glaucoma, an earlier diagnostic tool is required. Recent advances in retinal imaging, including optical coherence tomography, confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, and adaptive optics, have propelled both glaucoma research and clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. However, an ideal imaging technique to diagnose and monitor glaucoma would image RGCs non-invasively with high specificity and sensitivity in vivo. It may confirm the presence of healthy RGCs, such as in transgenic models or retrograde labelling, or detect subtle changes in the number of unhealthy or apoptotic RGCs, such as detection of apoptosing retinal cells (DARC). Although many of these advances have not yet been introduced to the clinical arena, their successes in animal studies are enthralling. This review will illustrate the challenges of imaging RGCs, the main retinal imaging modalities, the in vivo techniques to augment these as specific RGC-imaging tools and their potential for translation to the glaucoma clinic. PMID:26293138
Veiga-Crespo, Patricia; del Río, Patricia; Blindert, Marcel; Ueffing, Marius; Hauck, Stefanie M.
Purpose Porcine retina is an excellent model for studying diverse retinal processes and diseases. The morphologies of porcine retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) have, however, not yet been described comprehensively. The aim of the present study was to créate a classification of the RGCs using the 1, 1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) tracing method. Methods About 170 RGCs were retrogradely labeled by injecting DiI into the optic nerve of postmortem eyes and statistically analyzed by two different clustering methods: Ward’s algorithm and the K-means clustering. Major axis length of the soma, soma area size, and dendritic field area size were selected as main parameters for cluster classification. Results RGC distribution in clusters was achieved according to their morphological parameters. It was feasible to combine both statistical methods, thereby obtaining a robust clustering distribution. Morphological analysis resulted in a classification of RGCs in three groups according to the soma size and dendritic field: A (large somas and large dendritic fields), B (medium to large somas and medium to large dendritic fields), C (medium to small somas and medium to small dendritic fields). Within groups, fine clustering defined several subgroups according to dendritic arborization and level of stratification. Additionally, cells stratifying in two different levels of the inner plexiform layer were observed within the clusters. Conclusions This comprehensive study of RGC morphologies in the porcine retina provides fundamental knowledge about RGC cell types and provides a basis for functional studies toward selective RGC cell degeneration in retinal disorders. PMID:23687427
Mead, Ben; Tomarev, Stanislav
Retinal ganglion cells (RGC) bear the sole responsibility of propagating visual stimuli to the brain. Their axons, which make up the optic nerve, project from the retina to the brain through the lamina cribrosa and in rodents, decussate almost entirely at the optic chiasm before synapsing at the superior colliculus. For many traumatic and degenerative ocular conditions, the dysfunction and/or loss of RGC is the primary determinant of visual loss and are the measurable endpoints in current research into experimental therapies. To actually measure these endpoints in rodent models, techniques must ascertain both the quantity of surviving RGC and their functional capacity. Quantification techniques include phenotypic markers of RGC, retrogradely transported fluorophores and morphological measurements of retinal thickness whereas functional assessments include electroretinography (flash and pattern) and visual evoked potential. The importance of the accuracy and reliability of these techniques cannot be understated, nor can the relationship between RGC death and dysfunction. The existence of up to 30 types of RGC complicates the measuring process, particularly as these may respond differently to disease and treatment. Since the above techniques may selectively identify and ignore particular subpopulations, their appropriateness as measures of RGC survival and function may be further limited. This review discusses the above techniques in the context of their subtype specificity.
The function of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) can be non-invasively assessed in experimental and genetic models of glaucoma by means of variants of the ERG technique that emphasize the activity of inner retina neurons. The best understood technique is the Pattern Electroretinogram (PERG) in response to contrast-reversing gratings or checkerboards, which selectively depends on the presence of functional RGCs. In glaucoma models, the PERG can be altered before histological loss of RGCs; PERG alterations may be either reversed with moderate IOP lowering or exacerbated with moderate IOP elevation. Under particular luminance-stimulus conditions, the Flash-ERG displays components that may reflect electrical activity originating in the proximal retina and be altered in some experimental glaucoma models (positive Scotopic Threshold response, pSTR; negative Scotopic Threshold Response, nSTR; Photopic Negative Response, PhNR; Oscillatory Potentials, OPs; multifocal ERG, mfERG). It is not yet known which of these components is most sensitive to glaucomatous damage. Electrophysiological assessment of RGC function appears to be a necessary outcome measure in experimental glaucoma models, which complements structural assessment and may even predict it. Neuroprotective strategies could be tested based on enhancement of baseline electrophysiological function that results in improved RGC survival. The use of electrophysiology in glaucoma models may be facilitated by specifically designed instruments that allow high throughput, robust assessment of electrophysiological function. PMID:25998495
Nickells, Robert W
Glaucoma results from the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and their axons. Over the last 20 years several important advancements have been made in our understanding of the molecular pathology of this disease, particularly through the development of rat models of experimental glaucoma and the characterization of a spontaneous secondary form of glaucoma in DBA/2 substrains of inbred mice. One of these advances is the observation that ganglion cells die by apoptosis, an intrinsic molecular pathway of programmed cell death. An important aspect of this cell death process is the concept that these cells actually undergo compartmentalized self-destruction. Importantly, genetic evidence now suggests that axons die independently of the apoptotic program that executes the cell body or soma. This review briefly summarizes some of the most significant developments in glaucoma research, with respect to the process of ganglion cell degeneration.
Coimbra, João Paulo; Nolan, Paul M; Collin, Shaun P; Hart, Nathan S
Penguins are a group of flightless seabirds that exhibit numerous morphological, behavioral and ecological adaptations to their amphibious lifestyle, but little is known about the topographic organization of neurons in their retinas. In this study, we used retinal wholemounts and stereological methods to estimate the total number and topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells in addition to an anatomical estimate of spatial resolving power in two species of penguins: the little penguin, Eudyptula minor, and the king penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus. The total number of ganglion cells per retina was approximately 1,200,000 in the little penguin and 1,110,000 in the king penguin. The topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells in both species revealed the presence of a prominent horizontal visual streak with steeper gradients in the little penguin. The little penguin retinas showed ganglion cell density peaks of 21,867 cells/mm², affording spatial resolution in water of 17.07-17.46 cycles/degree (12.81-13.09 cycles/degree in air). In contrast, the king penguin showed a relatively lower peak density of ganglion cells of 14,222 cells/mm², but--due to its larger eye--slightly higher spatial resolution in water of 20.40 cycles/degree (15.30 cycles/degree in air). In addition, we mapped the distribution of giant ganglion cells in both penguin species using Nissl-stained wholemounts. In both species, topographic mapping of this cell type revealed the presence of an area gigantocellularis with a concentric organization of isodensity contours showing a peak in the far temporal retina of approximately 70 cells/mm² in the little penguin and 39 cells/mm² in the king penguin. Giant ganglion cell densities gradually fall towards the outermost isodensity contours revealing the presence of a vertically organized streak. In the little penguin, we confirmed our cytological characterization of giant ganglion cells using immunohistochemistry for microtubule
Schwartz, Greg; Taylor, Sam; Fisher, Clark; Harris, Rob; Berry, Michael J.
SUMMARY We show that when a moving object suddenly reverses direction, there is a brief, synchronous burst of firing within a population of retinal ganglion cells. This burst can be driven by either the leading or trailing edge of the object. The latency is constant for movement at different speeds, objects of different size, and bright versus dark contrasts. The same ganglion cells that signal a motion reversal also respond to smooth motion. We show that the brain can build a pure reversal detector using only a linear filter that reads out synchrony from a group of ganglion cells. These results indicate that not only can the retina anticipate the location of a smoothly moving object, but that it can also signal violations in its own prediction. We show that the reversal response cannot be explained by models of the classical receptive field and suggest that nonlinear receptive field subunits may be responsible. PMID:17880898
Freeman, Daniel K; Graña, Gilberto; Passaglia, Christopher L
To accommodate the wide input range over which the visual system operates within the narrow output range of spiking neurons, the retina adjusts its sensitivity to the mean light level so that retinal ganglion cells can faithfully signal contrast, or relative deviations from the mean luminance. Given the large operating range of the visual system, the majority of work on luminance adaptation has involved logarithmic changes in light level. We report that luminance gain controls are recruited for remarkably small fluctuations in luminance as well. Using spike recordings from the rat optic tract, we show that ganglion cell responses to a brief flash of light are modulated in amplitude by local background fluctuations as little as 15% contrast. The time scale of the gain control is rapid (<125 ms), at least for on cells. The retinal locus of adaptation precedes the ganglion cell spike generator because response gain changes of on cells were uncorrelated with firing rate. The mechanism seems to reside within the inner retinal network and not in the photoreceptors, because the adaptation profiles of on and off cells differed markedly. The response gain changes follow Weber's law, suggesting that network mechanisms of luminance adaptation described in previous work modulates retinal ganglion cell sensitivity, not just when we move between different lighting environments, but also as our eyes scan a visual scene. Finally, we show that response amplitude is uniformly reduced for flashes on a modulated background that has spatial contrast, indicating that another gain control that integrates luminance signals nonlinearly over space operates within the receptive field center of rat ganglion cells.
Rocha, F A F; Saito, C A; Silveira, L C L; de Souza, J M; Ventura, D F
The turtle retina has been extensively used for the study of chromatic processing mechanisms. Color opponency has been previously investigated with trichromatic paradigms, but behavioral studies show that the turtle has an ultraviolet (UV) channel and a tetrachromatic visual system. Our laboratory has been working in the characterization of neuronal responses in the retina of vertebrates using stimuli in the UV-visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the present investigation, we recorded color-opponent responses from turtle amacrine and ganglion cells to UV and visible stimuli and extended our previous results that UV color-opponency is present at the level of the inner nuclear layer. We recorded from 181 neurons, 36 of which were spectrally opponent. Among these, there were 10 amacrine (5%), and 26 ganglion cells (15%). Morphological identification of color-opponent neurons was possible for two ganglion cell classes (G17 and G22) and two amacrine cell classes (A22 and A23b). There was a variety of cell response types and a potential for complex processing of chromatic stimuli, with intensity- and wavelength-dependent response components. Ten types of color opponency were found in ganglion cells and by adding previous results from our laboratory, 12 types of opponent responses have been found. The majority of the ganglion cells were R+UVBG- and RG+UVB-color-opponents but there were other less frequent types of chromatic opponency. This study confirms the participation of a UV channel in the processing of color opponency in the turtle inner retina and shows that the turtle visual system has the retinal mechanisms to allow many possible chromatic combinations.
Freeman, Daniel K; Rizzo, Joseph F; Fried, Shelley I
Retinal prostheses aim to restore functional vision to those blinded by outer retinal diseases using electric stimulation of surviving retinal neurons. The ability to replicate the spatiotemporal pattern of ganglion cell spike trains present under normal viewing conditions is presumably an important factor for restoring high-quality vision. In order to replicate such activity with a retinal prosthesis, it is important to consider both how visual information is encoded in ganglion cell spike trains, and how retinal neurons respond to electric stimulation. The goal of the current review is to bring together these two concepts in order to guide the development of more effective stimulation strategies. We review the experiments to date that have studied how retinal neurons respond to electric stimulation and discuss these findings in the context of known retinal signaling strategies. The results from such in vitro studies reveal the advantages and disadvantages of activating the ganglion cell directly with the electric stimulus (direct activation) as compared to activation of neurons that are presynaptic to the ganglion cell (indirect activation). While direct activation allows high temporal but low spatial resolution, indirect activation yields improved spatial resolution but poor temporal resolution. Finally, we use knowledge gained from in vitro experiments to infer the patterns of elicited activity in ongoing human trials, providing insights into some of the factors limiting the quality of prosthetic vision. PMID:21593546
Akaishi, Y; Uchiyama, H; Ito, H; Shimizu, Y
The distribution and morphology of the retinal ganglion cells was studied in a relative of the rabbit, the Afghan pika. The total number of retinal ganglion cells was approximately 170,000. The total number of optic nerve fibers was between 160,000 and 190,000, corresponding to the total number of retinal ganglion cells. Retinal ganglion cells were found to have a horizontal region of high-density. The maximum density was 5250 cells/mm2. This region was located in the central retina below the optic disc. This area contained numerous closely packed small ganglion cells, while the peripheral retina (especially in the dorsal periphery) contained large ganglion cells more loosely dispersed. The retinal ganglion cells labeled by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were morphologically classified into three types based on dendritic length and ramification pattern.
Gonsalvez, David G; Cane, Kylie N; Landman, Kerry A; Enomoto, Hideki; Young, Heather M; Anderson, Colin R
Cell proliferation during nervous system development is poorly understood outside the mouse neocortex. We measured cell cycle dynamics in the embryonic mouse sympathetic stellate ganglion, where neuroblasts continue to proliferate following neuronal differentiation. At embryonic day (E) 9.5, when neural crest-derived cells were migrating and coalescing into the ganglion primordium, all cells were cycling, cell cycle length was only 10.6 h, and S-phase comprised over 65% of the cell cycle; these values are similar to those previously reported for embryonic stem cells. At E10.5, Sox10(+) cells lengthened their cell cycle to 38 h and reduced the length of S-phase. As cells started to express the neuronal markers Tuj1 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) at E10.5, they exited the cell cycle. At E11.5, when >80% of cells in the ganglion were Tuj1(+)/TH(+) neuroblasts, all cells were again cycling. Neuroblast cell cycle length did not change significantly after E11.5, and 98% of Sox10(-)/TH(+) cells had exited the cell cycle by E18.5. The cell cycle length of Sox10(+)/TH(-) cells increased during late embryonic development, and ∼25% were still cycling at E18.5. Loss of Ret increased neuroblast cell cycle length at E16.5 and decreased the number of neuroblasts at E18.5. A mathematical model generated from our data successfully predicted the relative change in proportions of neuroblasts and non-neuroblasts in wild-type mice. Our results show that, like other neurons, sympathetic neuron differentiation is associated with exit from the cell cycle; sympathetic neurons are unusual in that they then re-enter the cell cycle before later permanently exiting.
Gill, Katherine P.; Hung, Sandy S. C.; Sharov, Alexei; Lo, Camden Y.; Needham, Karina; Lidgerwood, Grace E.; Jackson, Stacey; Crombie, Duncan E.; Nayagam, Bryony A.; Cook, Anthony L.; Hewitt, Alex W.; Pébay, Alice; Wong, Raymond C. B.
Optic neuropathies are characterised by a loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that lead to vision impairment. Development of cell therapy requires a better understanding of the signals that direct stem cells into RGCs. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) represent an unlimited cellular source for generation of human RGCs in vitro. In this study, we present a 45-day protocol that utilises magnetic activated cell sorting to generate enriched population of RGCs via stepwise retinal differentiation using hESCs. We performed an extensive characterization of these stem cell-derived RGCs by examining the gene and protein expressions of a panel of neural/RGC markers. Furthermore, whole transcriptome analysis demonstrated similarity of the hESC-derived RGCs to human adult RGCs. The enriched hESC-RGCs possess long axons, functional electrophysiological profiles and axonal transport of mitochondria, suggestive of maturity. In summary, this RGC differentiation protocol can generate an enriched population of functional RGCs from hESCs, allowing future studies on disease modeling of optic neuropathies and development of cell therapies. PMID:27506453
Dakubo, Gabriel D; Wallace, Valerie A
The mature vertebrate retina develops from a population of multipotential neural progenitor cells that give rise to all of the retinal neurons and one glial cell type. Retinal histogenesis is regulated, in part, by cell extrinsic cues. A growing number of studies now implicate signaling by members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family of morphogens in vertebrate retinal development. In this review we will discuss the role of Hh signals from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the projection neurons of the retina, on proliferation, differentiation and lamination in the neural retina.
MILLS, STEPHEN L.; XIA, XIAO-BO; HOSHI, HIDEO; FIRTH, SALLY I.; RICE, MARGARET E.; FRISHMAN, LAURA J.; MARSHAK, DAVID W.
Many retinal ganglion cells are coupled via gap junctions with neighboring amacrine cells and ganglion cells. We investigated the extent and dynamics of coupling in one such network, the OFF α ganglion cell of rabbit retina and its associated amacrine cells. We also observed the relative spread of Neurobiotin injected into a ganglion cell in the presence of modulators of gap junctional permeability. We found that gap junctions between amacrine cells were closed via stimulation of a D1 dopamine receptor, while the gap junctions between ganglion cells were closed via stimulation of a D2 dopamine receptor. The pairs of hemichannels making up the heterologous gap junctions between the ganglion and amacrine cells were modulated independently, so that elevations of cAMP in the ganglion cell open the ganglion cell hemichannels, while elevations of cAMP in the amacrine cell close its hemichannels. We also measured endogenous dopamine release from an eyecup preparation and found a basal release from the dark-adapted retina of approximately 2 pmol/min during the day. Maximal stimulation with light increased the rate of dopamine release from rabbit retina by 66%. The results suggest that coupling between members of the OFF α ganglion cell/amacrine cell network is differentially modulated with changing levels of dopamine. PMID:17711603
Kong, W J; Yin, Z D; Fan, G R; Li, D; Huang, X
We investigated the time sequence of morphological changes of the spiral ganglion cell (SGC) and auditory nerve (AN) following chronic kanamycin-induced deafness. Guinea pigs were treated with kanamycin by subcutaneous injection at 500 mg/kg per day for 7 days. Histological changes in hair cells, SGCs, Schwann cells and the area of the cross-sectional of the AN with vestibular ganglion (VG) in the internal acoustic meatus were quantified at 1, 7, 14, 28, 56 and 70 days after kanamycin treatment. Outer hair cells decreased at 7 and 14 days. Loss of inner hair cells occurred at 14 and 28 days. The cross-sectional area of the AN with VG increased at 1 day and decreased shortly following loss of SGCs and Schwann cells at 7, 14 and 28 days after deafening. There was a similar time course of morphological changes in the overall cochlea and the basal turn. Thus, the effects of kanamycin on hair cells, spiral ganglion and Schwann cells are progressive. Early degeneration of SGC and Schwann cell mainly results from the direct toxic effect of kanamycin. However, multiple factors such as loss of hair cell, degeneration of Schwann cell and the progressive damage of kanamycin, may participate in the late degeneration process of SGCs. The molecular mechanism of the degeneration of SGC and Schwann cell should be investigated in the future. Moreover, there is a different time sequence of cell degeneration between acute and chronic deafness by kanamycin.
Takaki, Fumiya; Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Kusakabe, Tatsumi; Yamamoto, Yoshio
The sympathetic ganglion contains small intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells derived from the neural crest. We morphologically characterize SIF cells and focus on their relationship with ganglionic cells, preganglionic nerve fibers and sensory nerve endings. SIF cells stained intensely for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), with a few cells also being immunoreactive for dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH). Vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT)-immunoreactive puncta were distributed around some clusters of SIF cells, whereas some SIF cells closely abutted DBH-immunoreactive ganglionic cells. SIF cells contained bassoon-immunoreactive products beneath the cell membrane at the attachments and on opposite sites to the ganglionic cells. Ganglion neurons and SIF cells were immunoreactive to dopamine D2 receptors. Immunohistochemistry for P2X3 revealed ramified nerve endings with P2X3 immunoreactivity around SIF cells. Triple-labeling for P2X3, TH and VAChT allowed the classification of SIF cells into three types based on their innervation: (1) with only VAChT-immunoreactive puncta, (2) with only P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings, (3) with both P2X3-immunoreactive nerve endings and VAChT-immunoreactive puncta. The results of retrograde tracing with fast blue dye indicated that most of these nerve endings originated from the petrosal ganglion. Thus, SIF cells in the superior cervical ganglion are innervated by preganglionic fibers and glossopharyngeal sensory nerve endings and can be classified into three types. SIF cells might modulate sympathetic activity in the superior cervical ganglion.
Ikushima, M; Watanabe, M; Ito, H
A ganglion cell density map was produced from the Nissl-stained retinal whole mount of the Japanese quail. Ganglion cell density diminished nearly concentrically from the central area toward the retinal periphery. The mean soma area of ganglion cells in isodensity zones increased as the cell density decreased. The histograms of soma areas in each zone indicated that a population of small-sized ganglion cells persists into the peripheral retina. The total number of ganglion cells was estimated at about 2.0 million. Electron microscopic examination of the optic nerve revealed thin unmyelinated axons to comprise 69% of the total fiber count (about 2.0 million). Since there was no discrepancy between both the total numbers of neurons in the ganglion cell layer and optic nerve fibers, it is inferred that displaced amacrine cells are few, if any. The spectrum in optic nerve fiber diameter showed a unimodal skewed distribution quite similar to the histogram of soma areas of ganglion cells in the whole retina. This suggests a close correlation between soma areas and axon diameters. Retinal ganglion cells filled from the optic nerve with horseradish peroxidase were classified into 7 types according to such morphological characteristics as size, shape and location of the soma, as well as dendritic arborization pattern. Taking into account areal ranges of somata of each cell type, it can be assumed that most of the ganglion cells in the whole retinal ganglion cell layer are composed of type I, II and III cells, and that the population of uniformly small-sized ganglion cells corresponds to type I cells and is an origin of unmyelinated axons in the optic nerve.
Liets, Lauren C; Olshausen, Bruno A; Wang, Guo-Yong; Chalupa, Leo M
Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from morphologically identified ganglion cells in the intact retina of developing ferrets. As early as 3 d after birth, all ganglion cells exhibited bursts of spontaneous activity, with the interval between bursts gradually decreasing with maturity. By 2 weeks after birth, ganglion cells could be morphologically differentiated into three major classes (alpha, beta, and gamma), and at this time each cell class was characterized by a distinct pattern of spontaneous activity. Dual patch-clamp recordings from pairs of neighboring cells revealed that cells of all morphological classes burst in a coordinated manner, regardless of cell type. These observations suggest that a common mechanism underlies the bursting patterns exhibited by all ganglion cell classes, and that class-specific firing patterns emerge coincident with retinal ganglion cell morphological differentiation.
Maklad, A.; Fritzsch, B.
The endorgan-specific distribution of vestibular ganglion cells was studied in neonatal and postnatal rats and mice using indocarbocyanine dye (DiI) and dextran amines for retrograde and anterograde labeling. Retrograde DiI tracing from the anterior vertical canal labeled neurons scattered throughout the whole superior vestibular ganglion, with denser labeling at the dorsal and central regions. Horizontal canal neurons were scattered along the dorsoventral axis with more clustering toward the dorsal and ventral poles of this axis. Utricular ganglion cells occupied predominantly the central region of the superior vestibular ganglion. This utricular population overlapped with both the anterior vertical and horizontal canals' ganglion cells. Posterior vertical canal neurons were clustered in the posterior part of the inferior vestibular ganglion. The saccular neurons were distributed in the two parts of the vestibular ganglion, the superior and inferior ganglia. Within the inferior ganglion, the saccular neurons were clustered in the anterior part. In the superior ganglion, the saccular neurons were widely scattered throughout the whole ganglion with more numerous neurons at the posterior half. Small and large neurons were labeled from all endorgans. Examination of the fiber trajectory within the superior division of the vestibular nerve showed no clear lamination of the fibers innervating the different endorgans. These results demonstrate an overlapping pattern between the different populations within the superior ganglion, while in the inferior ganglion, the posterior canal and saccular neurons show tighter clustering but incomplete segregation. This distribution implies that the ganglion cells are assigned for their target during development in a stochastic rather than topographical fashion.
Zecha, Veronika; Wagenblast, Jens; Arnhold, Stefan; Edge, Albert S. B.; Stöver, Timo
Abstract The spiral ganglion is an essential functional component of the peripheral auditory system. Most types of hearing loss are associated with spiral ganglion cell degeneration which is irreversible due to the inner ear's lack of regenerative capacity. Recent studies revealed the existence of stem cells in the postnatal spiral ganglion, which gives rise to the hope that these cells might be useful for regenerative inner ear therapies. Here, we provide an in-depth analysis of sphere-forming stem cells isolated from the spiral ganglion of postnatal mice. We show that spiral ganglion spheres have characteristics similar to neurospheres isolated from the brain. Importantly, spiral ganglion sphere cells maintain their major stem cell characteristics after repeated propagation, which enables the culture of spheres for an extended period of time. In this work, we also demonstrate that differentiated sphere-derived cell populations not only adopt the immunophenotype of mature spiral ganglion cells but also develop distinct ultrastructural features of neurons and glial cells. Thus, our work provides further evidence that self-renewing spiral ganglion stem cells might serve as a promising source for the regeneration of lost auditory neurons. PMID:24940560
Case, C P; Matthews, M R
A quantitative ultrastructural study has been made of the reaction of the incoming synapses of small granule-containing cells after axotomy of the major post-ganglionic branches of the superior cervical ganglion of the young adult rat. These cells are intrinsic and interneurone-like in this ganglion, receiving a preganglionic input and giving outgoing synapses to principal post-ganglionic neurones. Unlike their outgoing synapses, which are lost after post-ganglionic axotomy (Case & Matthews, 1986), the incoming synapses of the small granule-containing cells in axotomized ganglia increased in incidence post-operatively. The increase first became clearly evident 5-7 days post-operatively and was greater, being both more sustained and progressive, after bilateral than after unilateral axotomy. After bilateral axotomy the incidence of incoming synapses rose to more than four times that of normal ganglia and was still elevated at 128 days post-operatively, but was within normal limits at 390 days. After a unilateral lesion, increases of similar extent and time course to those in the axotomized ganglia were seen in the incoming synapses of small granule-containing cells in the uninjured contralateral ganglia. The incoming synapses of the small granule-containing cells are multifocal, i.e. show several points or active foci of synaptic specialization. The increase in synapses expressed itself both through an increased incidence of these synaptic active foci per nerve terminal and through an increase in the number of presynaptic nerve terminal profiles associated with the cells. Control observations indicated that the increase in synapses was not due to surgical stress, nor was it attributable solely to post-operative ageing. The nerve terminals which were presynaptic to the small granule-containing cells post-operatively were all of preganglionic origin: no incoming synapses or presynaptic nerve terminals remained at 2 days after a preganglionic denervation of axotomized
Wunk, D F; Werblin, F S
The postsynaptic potentials (PSPs) that form the ganglion cell light response were isolated by polarizing the cell membrane with extrinsic currents while stimulating at either the center or surround of the cell's receptive field. The time-course and receptive field properties of the PSPs were correlated with those of the bipolar and amacrine cells. The tiger salamander retina contains four main types of ganglion cell: "on" center, "off" center, "on-off", and a "hybrid" cell that responds transiently to center, but sustainedly, to surround illumination. The results lead to these inferences. The on-ganglion cell receives excitatory synpatic input from the on bipolars and that synapse is "silent" in the dark. The off-ganglion cell receives excitatory synaptic input from the off bipolars with this synapse tonically active in the dark. The on-off and hybrid ganglion cells receive a transient excitatory input with narrow receptive field, not simply correlated with the activity of any presynaptic cell. All cell types receive a broad field transient inhibitory input, which apparently originates in the transient amacrine cells. Thus, most, but not all, ganglion cell responses can be explained in terms of synaptic inputs from bipolar and amacrine cells, integrated at the ganglion cell membrane.
Do, Michael Tri H; Kang, Shin H; Xue, Tian; Zhong, Haining; Liao, Hsi-Wen; Bergles, Dwight E; Yau, King-Wai
A subset of retinal ganglion cells has recently been discovered to be intrinsically photosensitive, with melanopsin as the pigment. These cells project primarily to brain centres for non-image-forming visual functions such as the pupillary light reflex and circadian photoentrainment. How well they signal intrinsic light absorption to drive behaviour remains unclear. Here we report fundamental parameters governing their intrinsic light responses and associated spike generation. The membrane density of melanopsin is 10(4)-fold lower than that of rod and cone pigments, resulting in a very low photon catch and a phototransducing role only in relatively bright light. Nonetheless, each captured photon elicits a large and extraordinarily prolonged response, with a unique shape among known photoreceptors. Notably, like rods, these cells are capable of signalling single-photon absorption. A flash causing a few hundred isomerized melanopsin molecules in a retina is sufficient for reaching threshold for the pupillary light reflex.
Coombs, Julie L; Van Der List, Deborah; Chalupa, Leo M
Quantitative methods were used to assess dendritic stratification and other structural features of developing mouse retinal ganglion cells from birth to after eye opening. Cells were labeled by transgenic expression of yellow fluorescent protein, DiOlistics or diffusion of DiI, and subsequently imaged in three dimensions on a confocal microscope followed by morphometric analysis of 13 different structural properties. At postnatal day 1 (P1), the dendrites of all cells ramified across the vertical extent of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). By P3/4, dendrites were largely confined to different strata of the IPL. The stratification of dendrites initially reflected a retraction of widely ramifying dendritic processes, but for the most part this was due to the subsequent vertical expansion of the IPL. By P8, distinct cell classes could be recognized, although these had not yet attained adult-like properties. The structural features differentiating cell classes were found to follow three different developmental trends. The mean values of one set of morphological parameters were essentially unchanged throughout postnatal development; another set of measures showed a rapid rise with age to adult values; and a third set of measures first increased with age and later decreased, with the regressive events initiated around the time of eye opening. These findings suggest that the morphological development of retinal ganglion cells is regulated by diverse factors operating during different but overlapping time periods. Our results also suggest that dendritic stratification may be more highly specified in the developing mammalian retina than has been previously realized.
Wang, Hui; Zhang, Chanjuan; Lu, Dan; Shu, Xiaoming; Zhu, Lihong; Qi, Renbing; So, Kwok-Fai; Lu, Daxiang; Xu, Ying
The death of retinal ganglion cells is a hallmark of many optic neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma and retinopathy. Oxidative stress is one of the major reasons to cause the cell death. Oligomeric proanthocyanidin has many health beneficial effects including antioxidative and neuroprotective actions. Here we tested whether oligomeric proanthocyanidin may protect retinal ganglion cells against oxidative stress induced-apoptosis in vitro. Retinal ganglion cells were treated with hydrogen peroxide with or without oligomeric proanthocyanidin. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay showed that treating retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5 cells with 20 μmol/L oligomeric proanthocyanidin significantly decreased the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) induced death. Results of flow cytometry and Hoechst staining demonstrated that the death of RGC-5 cells was mainly caused by cell apoptosis. We further found that expression of pro-apoptotic Bax and caspase-3 were significantly decreased while anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was greatly increased in H2O2 damaged RGC-5 cells with oligomeric proanthocyanidin by western blot assay. Furthermore, in retinal explant culture, the number of surviving retinal ganglion cells in H2O2-damaged retinal ganglion cells with oligomeric proanthocyanidin was significantly increased. Our studies thus demonstrate that oligomeric proanthocyanidin can protect oxidative stress-injured retinal ganglion cells by inhibiting apoptotic process. PMID:25206541
Renna, Jordan M; Chellappa, Deepa K; Ross, Christopher L; Stabio, Maureen E; Berson, David M
Melanopsin ganglion cells express the photopigment melanopsin and are the first functional photoreceptors to develop in the mammalian retina. They have been shown to play a variety of important roles in visual development and behavior in the early postnatal period (Johnson et al., 2010; Kirkby and Feller, 2013; Rao et al., 2013; Renna et al., 2011). Here, we probed the maturation of the dendritic arbors of melanopsin ganglion cells during this developmental period in mice. We found that some melanopsin ganglion cells (mainly the M1-subtype) transiently extend their dendrites not only into the inner plexiform layer (where they receive synaptic inputs from bipolar and amacrine cells) but also into the outer plexiform layer, where in mature retina, rod and cone photoreceptors are thought to contact only bipolar and horizontal cells. Thus, some immature melanopsin ganglion cells are biplexiform. This feature is much less common although still present in the mature retina. It reaches peak incidence 8-12 days after birth, before the eyes open and bipolar cells are sufficiently mature to link rods and cones to ganglion cells. At this age, some outer dendrites of melanopsin ganglion cells lie in close apposition to the axon terminals of cone photoreceptors and express a postsynaptic marker of glutamatergic transmission, postsynaptic density-95 protein (PSD-95). These findings raise the possibility of direct, monosynaptic connections between cones and melanopsin ganglion cells in the early postnatal retina. We provide a detailed description of the developmental profile of these processes and consider their possible functional and evolutionary significance.
Xu, Lifang; Zhang, Ziyin; Xie, Tianhua; Zhang, Xiaoyang; Dai, Tu
Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protects retinal ganglion cells against ischemia in ocular degenerative diseases. We aimed to determine the effect of BDNF-AS on the ischemic injury of retinal ganglion cells. Methods: The levels of BDNF and BDNF-AS were measured in retinal ganglion cells subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation. The lentiviral vectors were constructed to either overexpress or knock out BDNF-AS. The luciferase reporter gene assay was used to determine whether BDNF-AS could target its seed sequence on BDNF mRNA. The methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay was used to determine cell viability, and TUNEL staining was used for cell apoptosis. Results: The levels of BDNF-AS were negatively correlated with BDNF in ischemic retinal ganglion cells. BDNF-AS directly targeted its complementary sequences on BDNF mRNA. BDNF-AS regulated the expression of BDNF and its related genes in retinal ganglion cells. Down-regulation of BDNF-AS increased cell viability and decreased the number of TUNEL-positive retinal ganglion cells under oxygen and glucose deprivation conditions. Conclusion: Inhibition of BDNF-AS protected retinal ganglion cells against ischemia by increasing the levels of BDNF. PMID:27935942
Werblin, F S
1. Recordings from amacrine and ganglion cells in the mudpuppy retina suggest mechanisms whereby the relatively slow, sustained light responses measured in bipolar cells are converted to rapid, brief, transient activity in the on-off ganglion cells. 2. Double-barrel electrodes were used to control the membrane potential under voltage clamp. The clamp revealed synaptic currents, but eliminated the otherwise obvious spike activity elicited by steps of illumination in both amacrine and ganglion cells, suggesting that the spikes are initiated near the somata. 3. The synaptic current in the on-off ganglion cells was biphasic: a brief inward (depolarizing) membrane current preceded a transient outward (hyperpolarizing) membrane current by about 20 msec. Each component could be isolated by polarizing the membrane to a level near the reversal potential for the other. Each was apparently due to a transient conductance increase of sawtooth shape with a 40 msec time to peak and a decay longer than 400 msec. 4. Synaptic membrane current in amacrine cells was monophasic and inward (depolarizing) of similar sawtooth shape at all potential levels. It was apparently mediated by a conductance increase to ions with a reversal potential more positive than the dark level. 5. When amacrine cells were depolarized in the dark under voltage clamp, a large transient inward membrane current with threshold within 4 mV of the dark level was generated. This regenerative event is capable of boosting a small, 4 mV e.p.s.p. to more than 30 mV in a few milliseconds, thereby generating the leading edge of a rapid sawtooth response. 6. The results suggest that the rapid transient on-off activity in ganglion cells is mediated by opposing sawtooth shaped synaptic currents with different latencies. It is inferred that each of these antagonistic imputs is generated by a regenerative depolarization in amacrine cells which then form synaptic inputs to the ganglion cells. PMID:845823
Wilson, A M; Di Polo, A
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The primary cause of glaucoma is not known, but several risk factors have been identified, including elevated intraocular pressure and age. Loss of vision in glaucoma is caused by the death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the neurons that convey visual information from the retina to the brain. Therapeutic strategies aimed at delaying or halting RGC loss, known as neuroprotection, would be valuable to save vision in glaucoma. In this review, we discuss the significant progress that has been made in the use of gene therapy to understand mechanisms underlying RGC degeneration and to promote the survival of these neurons in experimental models of optic nerve injury.
Weitz, A C; Behrend, M R; Humayun, M S; Chow, R H; Weiland, J D
The most common electrical stimulation pulse used in retinal implants is a symmetric biphasic current pulse. Prior electrophysiological studies in peripheral nerve have shown that adding an interphase gap (IPG) between the two phases makes stimulation more efficient. We investigated the effect of IPG duration on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) electrical threshold. We used calcium imaging to measure the activity of RGCs in isolated retina in response to electrical stimulation. By varying IPG duration, we were able to examine the effect of duration on threshold. We further studied this effect by simulating RGC behavior with a Hodgkin-Huxley-type model. Our results indicate that the threshold for electrical activation of RGCs can be reduced by increasing the length of the IPG.
Roecklein, Kathryn A.; Wong, Patricia M.; Miller, Megan A.; Donofry, Shannon D.; Kamarck, Marissa L.; Brainard, George C.
ROECKLEIN, K.A., WONG, P.M., MILLER, M.A., DONOFRY, S.D., KAMARCK, M.L., BRAINARD, G.C. Melanopsin, Photosensitive Ganglion Cells, and Seasonal Affective Disorder…NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV x(x) XXX-XXX, 2012. In two recent reports, melanopsin gene variations were associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and in changes in the timing of sleep and activity in healthy individuals. New studies have deepened our understanding of the retinohypothalamic tract, which translates environmental light received by the retina into neural signals sent to a set of nonvisual nuclei in the brain that are responsible for functions other than sight including circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioral regulation. Because this pathway mediates seasonal changes in physiology, behavior, and mood, individual variations in the pathway may explain why approximately 1–2% of the North American population develops mood disorders with a seasonal pattern (i.e., Major Depressive and Bipolar Disorders with a seasonal pattern, also known as seasonal affective disorder/SAD). Components of depression including mood changes, sleep patterns, appetite, and cognitive performance can be affected by the biological and behavioral responses to light. Specifically, variations in the gene sequence for the retinal photopigment, melanopsin, may be responsible for significant increased risk for mood disorders with a seasonal pattern, and may do so by leading to changes in activity and sleep timing in winter. The retinal sensitivity of SAD is hypothesized to be decreased compared to controls, and that further decrements in winter light levels may combine to trigger depression in winter. Here we outline steps for new research to address the possible role of melanopsin in seasonal affective disorder including chromatic pupillometry designed to measure the sensitivity of melanopsin containing retinal ganglion cells. PMID:23286902
Herro, Angela M; Lam, Byron L
Background The aim of this study was to demonstrate the relationship between topographic reduction in macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness as detected with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and visual field defects caused by ischemic occipital cortical injury. Methods This study was a retrospective review of all patients who presented to our eye institution between January 2012 and July 2014 with visual field defects secondary to ischemic cortical injury. The visual field defect pattern and mean deviation were analyzed. Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular GCC were both assessed with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Patients with any ocular pathology that could affect these measurements were excluded. The topographic relationship of visual field defect to reduction in GCC was specifically analyzed. Results Nine patients met the inclusion criteria. Their average age was 65 (57–73) years; eight were men and six had right hemianopsias. The laterality of the visual field defect was used to assign an affected and unaffected side of analysis for RNFL and GCC layer thickness. A right hemianopsia meant that the nasal fibers of the right eye and temporal fibers of the left eye were assigned as the “affected side”, and the temporal fibers of the right eye and nasal fibers of the left eye were assigned as “unaffected”. There was no statistically significant difference between affected and unaffected RNFL. However, there was a significant difference in GCC layer reduction between the affected and unaffected sides (P=0.029). Conclusion There is evidence of retrograde trans-synaptic retinal ganglion cell loss in patients with homonymous hemianopsias from cortical visual impairment. This relationship is reflected in thinning of the GCC and maintains the topographic relationship of the visual field defect. PMID:26089638
Dann, J F; Buhl, E H
The morphology of retinal ganglion cells was determined in megachiroptera, commonly known as flying foxes. Retinal ganglion cells were intracellularly injected with the fluorescent dye Lucifer yellow in fixed retinae from adult little red flying foxes (Pteropus scapulatus) captured in their natural habitat. Ganglion cells closely resembled the three main classes of cat retinal ganglion cells, and therefore were classified into alpha-, beta-, and gamma-type cells. The size of the alpha- and beta-type somas and dendritic fields increased with increasing distance from the area centralis. However, this eccentricity dependence was not as pronounced as in the cat. The gamma-type cells were sub-divided into mono-, bi-, and diffusely stratified, in accordance with the ramification of their dendrites within the inner plexiform layer. The alpha- and beta-type cells were uni-stratified in either the sublamina of the inner plexiform layer closest to the ganglion cell layer or in that closest to the inner nuclear layer. These laminae correspond to those in the cat retina which contain the dendritic ramifications of ganglion cells whose central receptive fields respond best to onset of light (the "on-centre" cells), or to ganglion cells whose centres respond optimally to light being extinguished (the "off-centre" cells). Thus the flying fox retina contains a morphological correlate of the "on"/"off" dichotomy of alpha and beta cells in the cat retina. In general the flying fox retinal ganglion cells exhibit a degree of morphological complexity reminiscent of cat retinal cells and this may reflect similar functional properties.
An ultrastructural double label has been employed to compare GABAergic and glycinergic systems in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of the goldfish retina. Electron microscope autoradiography of /sup 3/H-GABA and /sup 3/H-glycine uptake was combined with retrograde HRP-labeling of ganglion cells. When surveyed for distribution, GABAergic and glycinergic synapses were found onto labeled ganglion cells throughout the IPL. This reinforces previous physiological work that described GABAergic and glycinergic influences on a variety of ganglion cells in goldfish and carp; These physiological effects often reflect direct inputs.
Maguire, G.W.; Smith, E.L. III
Optic tract single-unit recordings were used to study ganglion cell response functions of the intact cat eye after 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioning of the dopaminergic amacrine cell (AC) population of the inner retina. The impairment of the dopaminergic AC was verified by high pressure-liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection of endogenous dopamine content and by (/sup 3/H)dopamine high-affinity uptake; the dopaminergic ACs of the treated eyes demonstrated reduced endogenous dopamine content and reduced (/sup 3/H)dopamine uptake compared with that of their matched controls. Normal appearing (/sup 3/H)GABA and (/sup 3/H)-glycine uptake in the treated retinas suggests the absence of any nonspecific action of the 6-OHDA on the neural retina. The impairment of the dopaminergic AC population was found to alter a number of response properties in off-center ganglion cells, but this impairment had only a modest effect on the on-center cells. An abnormally high proportion of the off-center ganglion cells in the 6-OHDA treated eyes possessed nonlinear, Y-type receptive fields. These cells also possessed shift-responses of greater than normal amplitude, altered intensity-response functions, reduced maintained activities, and more transient center responses. Of the on-center type cells, only the Y-type on-center cells were affected by 6-OHDA, possessing higher than normal maintained activities and altered intensity-response functions. The on-center X-cells were unaffected by 6-OHDA treatment. The dopaminergic AC of the photopically adapted cat retina therefore modulates a number of ganglion cell response properties and within the limits of this study is most prominent in off-center ganglion cell circuitry.
Ding, Wei; Xiao, Lei; Jing, Wei; Zhang, Pu-Ming; Liang, Pei-Ji
A 'trial-to-trial adaptation' of bullfrog retinal ganglion cells in response to a repetitive light stimulus was investigated in the present study. Using the multielectrode recording technique, we studied the trial-to-trial adaptive properties of ganglion cells and explored the activity of population neurons during this adaptation process. It was found that the ganglion cells adapted with different degrees: their firing rates were decreased in different extents from early-adaptation to late-adaptation stage, and this was accompanied by a decrease in cross-correlation strength. In addition, adaptation behavior was different for ON-response and OFF-response, which implied that the mechanism of the trial-to-trial adaptation might involve bipolar cells and/or their synapses with other neurons and the stronger adaptation in the ganglion cells' OFF-responses might reflect the requirement to avoid possible saturation in the OFF circuit.
Lipton, Stuart A.; Frosch, Matthew P.; Phillips, Micheal D.; Tauck, David L.; Aizenman, Elias
Functional nicotinic cholinergic receptors are found on mammalian retinal ganglion cell neurons in culture. The neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) can be detected in the medium of many of these retinal cultures, after release presumably from the choline acetyltransferase-positive amacrine cells. The postsynaptic effect of endogenous or applied ACh on the ganglion cells can be blocked with specific nicotinic antagonists. Here it is shown that within 24 hours of producing such a pharmacologic blockade, the retinal ganglion cells begin to sprout or regenerate neuronal processes. Thus, the growth-enhancing effect of nicotinic antagonists may be due to the removal of inhibition to growth by tonic levels of ACh present in the culture medium. Since there is a spontaneous leak of ACh in the intact retina, the effects of nicotinic cholinergic drugs on process outgrowth in culture may reflect a normal control mechanism for growth or regeneration of retinal ganglion cell processes that is exerted by ACh in vivo.
Marchiafava, P. L.; Torre, V.
1. Ganglion cells responses to illumination and to optic nerve stimulation were recorded intracellularly from the retina of the turtle. All ganglion cells were identified by their antidromic responses to optic nerve stimulation. 2. When solitary spikes are produced following antidromic, orthodromic or intracellular stimulation, about 20% of the recorded ganglion cells show an additional depolarization along the falling phase of the action potential (post-spike depolarization, PSD). 3. The PSD following the antidromic action potential disappears upon collision with a direct spike or when the antidromic spike is prevented from invading the cell soma. 4. By pairing two optic nerve stimuli the PSD is depressed with brief interstimulus intervals, but gradually recovers to the control amplitude 600-800 msec after the conditioning shock. 5. The PSD is tentatively interpreted as an e.p.s.p. transmitted by ganglion cell collaterals originating at the level of the soma dendritic complex of the recorded cell. 6. The interspike interval histogram of ganglion cells showing PSD is characterized by a peak at about 10 msec, as opposed to a peak between 12 and 100 msec observed in cells without PSD. It is suggested that the occurrence of PSD facilitate the onset of additional action potentials at brief interspikes intervals, thus potentiating ganglion cell discharges. PMID:874914
Visuri, S R; Heredia, N
Optically generated acoustic waves have been used to temporarily permeate biological cells. This technique may be useful for enhancing transfection of DNA into cells or enhancing the absorption of locally delivered drugs. A diode-pumped frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser operating at kHz repetition rates was used to produce a series of acoustic pulses. An acoustic wave was formed via thermoelastic expansion by depositing laser radiation into an absorbing dye. Generated pressures were measured with a PVDF hydrophone. The acoustic waves were transmitted to cultured and plated cells. The cell media contained a selection of normally- impermeable fluorescent-labeled dextran dyes. Following treatment with the opto-acoustic technique, cellular incorporation of dyes, up to 40,000 Molecular Weight, was noted. Control cells that did not receive opto-acoustic treatment had unremarkable dye incorporation. Uptake of dye was quantified via fluorescent microscopic analysis. Trypan Blue membrane exclusion assays and fluorescent labeling assays confirmed the vitality of cells following treatment. This method of enhanced drug delivery has the potential to dramatically reduce required drug dosages and associated side effects and enable revolutionary therapies.
An animal's ability to perceive the external world is conditioned by its capacity to extract and encode specific features of the visual image. The output of the vertebrate retina is not a simple representation of the 2D visual map generated by photon absorptions in the photoreceptor layer. Rather, spatial, temporal, direction selectivity and color “dimensions” of the original image are distributed in the form of parallel output channels mediated by distinct retinal ganglion cell (RGC) populations. We propose that visual information transmitted to the brain includes additional, light-independent, inputs that reflect the functional states of the retina, anterior eye and the body. These may include the local ion microenvironment, glial metabolism and systemic parameters such as intraocular pressure, temperature and immune activation which act on ion channels that are intrinsic to RGCs. We particularly focus on light-independent mechanical inputs that are associated with physical impact, cell swelling and intraocular pressure as excessive mechanical stimuli lead to the counterintuitive experience of “pressure phosphenes” and/or debilitating blinding disease such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. We point at recently discovered retinal mechanosensitive ion channels as examples through which molecular physiology brings together Greek phenomenology, modern neuroscience and medicine. Thus, RGC output represents a unified picture of the embodied context within which vision takes place. PMID:26427477
Hynds, Dianna L; Rangappa, Nagarathnamma; Ter Beest, Julia; Snow, Diane M; Rabchevsky, Alexander G
Transplantation of cellular populations to facilitate regrowth of damaged axons is a common experimental therapy for spinal cord injury. Schwann cells (SC) or microglia grafted into injury sites can promote axonal regrowth of central projections of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons. We sought to determine whether the addition of microglia or microglia-derived secretory products alters DRG axon regrowth upon cultures of SC. Rat DRG explants were grown on monolayers consisting of either SC, microglia, SC exposed to microglia-conditioned medium (MCM), or co-cultures with different relative concentrations of microglia. Image analysis revealed that, compared to SC alone, the extent of neurite outgrowth was significantly greater on SC-microglia co-cultures. Immunocytochemistry for extracellular matrix molecules showed that microglial cells stained positively for growth-promoting thrombospondin, whereas laminin and the inhibitory chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) were localized primarily to SC. Notably, immunoreactivity for CSPGs appeared reduced in areas associated with DRG outgrowth in co-cultures and SC exposed to MCM. These results show that microglia or their secreted products can augment SC-mediated DRG regrowth in vitro, indicating that co-grafting SC with microglia provides a novel approach to augment sensory fiber regeneration after spinal cord injury.
Martersteck, Emily M; Hirokawa, Karla E; Evarts, Mariah; Bernard, Amy; Duan, Xin; Li, Yang; Ng, Lydia; Oh, Seung W; Ouellette, Benjamin; Royall, Joshua J; Stoecklin, Michelle; Wang, Quanxin; Zeng, Hongkui; Sanes, Joshua R; Harris, Julie A
Understanding how >30 types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the mouse retina each contribute to visual processing in the brain will require more tools that label and manipulate specific RGCs. We screened and analyzed retinal expression of Cre recombinase using 88 transgenic driver lines. In many lines, Cre was expressed in multiple RGC types and retinal cell classes, but several exhibited more selective expression. We comprehensively mapped central projections from RGCs labeled in 26 Cre lines using viral tracers, high-throughput imaging, and a data processing pipeline. We identified over 50 retinorecipient regions and present a quantitative retina-to-brain connectivity map, enabling comparisons of target-specificity across lines. Projections to two major central targets were notably correlated: RGCs projecting to the outer shell or core regions of the lateral geniculate projected to superficial or deep layers within the superior colliculus, respectively. Retinal images and projection data are available online at http://connectivity.brain-map.org.
Ohtani, Nobuyo; Goto, Tomohide; Waeber, Christian; Bhide, Pradeep G.
Dopamine is a neuromodulator the functions of which in the regulation of complex behaviors such as mood, motivation, and attention are well known. Dopamine appears in the brain early in the embryonic period when none of those behaviors is robust, raising the possibility that dopamine may influence brain development. The effects of dopamine on specific developmental processes such as neurogenesis are not fully characterized. The neostriatum is a dopamine-rich region of the developing and mature brain. If dopamine influenced neurogenesis, the effects would likely be pronounced in the neostriatum. Therefore, we examined whether dopamine influenced neostriatal neurogenesis by influencing the cell cycle of progenitor cells in the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE), the neuroepithelial precursor of the neostriatum. We show that dopamine arrives in the LGE via the nigrostriatal pathway early in the embryonic period and that neostriatal neurogenesis progresses in a dopamine-rich milieu. Dopamine D1-like receptor activation reduces entry of progenitor cells from the G1-to S-phase of the cell cycle, whereas D2-like receptor activation produces the opposite effects by promoting G1- to S-phase entry. D1-like effects are prominent in the ventricular zone, and D2-like effects are prominent in the subventricular zone. The overall effects of dopamine on the cell cycle are D1-like effects, most likely because of the preponderance of D1-like binding sites in the embryonic neostriatum. These data reveal a novel developmental role for dopamine and underscore the relevance of dopaminergic signaling in brain development. PMID:12684471
Middleton, T P; Protti, D A
The endocannabinoid (ECB) system has been found throughout the central nervous system and modulates cell excitability in various forms of short-term plasticity. ECBs and their receptors have also been localized to all retinal cells, and cannabinoid receptor activation has been shown to alter voltage-dependent conductances in several different retinal cell types, suggesting a possible role for cannabinoids in retinal processing. Their effects on synaptic transmission in the mammalian retina, however, have not been previously investigated. Here, we show that exogenous cannabinoids alter spontaneous synaptic transmission onto retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Using whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in whole-mount retinas, we measured spontaneous postsynaptic currents (SPSCs) in RGCs in adult and young (P14-P21) mice. We found that the addition of an exogenous cannabinoid agonist, WIN55212-2 (5 μM), caused a significant reversible reduction in the frequency of SPSCs. This change, however, did not alter the kinetics of the SPSCs, indicating a presynaptic locus of action. Using blockers to isolate inhibitory or excitatory currents, we found that cannabinoids significantly reduced the release probability of both GABA and glutamate, respectively. While the addition of cannabinoids reduced the frequency of both GABAergic and glutamatergic SPSCs in both young and adult mice, we found that the largest effect was on GABA-mediated currents in young mice. These results suggest that the ECB system may potentially be involved in the modulation of signal transmission in the retina. Furthermore, they suggest that it might play a role in the developmental maturation of synaptic circuits, and that exogenous cannabinoids are likely able to disrupt retinal processing and consequently alter vision.
Satomi, H; Takahashi, K
The distribution and peripheral connections of aberrant ganglion cells in the facial nerve trunk of the cat were studied by means of Klüver-Barrera staining and retrograde transport of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). By the Klüver-Barrera staining, aberrant ganglion cells were observed in the facial nerve trunk between the geniculate ganglion and the junction of the auricular branch of the vagus with the facial nerve trunk, although the number varied considerably with each animal. These cells were generally medium-sized and of round or oval shape, with densely stained Nissl substance, the features of which were essentially similar to those of the geniculate ganglion. In cases where HRP injections were made into the anterior wall of the auricle, several HRP-labeled cells were found ipsilaterally in the facial nerve trunk in addition to cell labeling of the geniculate ganglion. The present study in the cat demonstrated that at least some of the aberrant ganglion cells scattered in the facial nerve trunk are parental to the axons to the auricle, subserving the cutaneous sensory function.
Mass, Alla M; Supin, Alexander Y
The total number, size, topographic distribution, and cell density of ganglion cells were studied in retinal wholemounts of Baikal seals (Pusa sibirica). The ganglion cell size varied from 10 to 38 μm. A distinct cell group consisted of large ganglion cells of more than 30 μm in diameter. The topographic distribution of ganglion cells showed a definite area of high cell density similar to the area centralis of terrestrial carnivores. This area was located approximately 6-7 mm dorsotemporally of the geometric center of the wholemount. In this area, the peak cell densities in two wholemounts were 3,800 and 3,400 cells/mm2 (mean 3,600 cells/mm2). With a posterior nodal distance of 24 mm (underwater), this density corresponds to 631 cells/square degree. These values predict a retinal resolution of 2.4' in water and 3.0' in air. The topographic distribution of large cells featured the highest density in the same location as the total ganglion cell population.
Roecklein, Kathryn A; Wong, Patricia M; Miller, Megan A; Donofry, Shannon D; Kamarck, Marissa L; Brainard, George C
In two recent reports, melanopsin gene variations were associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and in changes in the timing of sleep and activity in healthy individuals. New studies have deepened our understanding of the retinohypothalamic tract, which translates environmental light received by the retina into neural signals sent to a set of nonvisual nuclei in the brain that are responsible for functions other than sight including circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioral regulation. Because this pathway mediates seasonal changes in physiology, behavior, and mood, individual variations in the pathway may explain why approximately 1-2% of the North American population develops mood disorders with a seasonal pattern (i.e., Major Depressive and Bipolar Disorders with a seasonal pattern, also known as seasonal affective disorder/SAD). Components of depression including mood changes, sleep patterns, appetite, and cognitive performance can be affected by the biological and behavioral responses to light. Specifically, variations in the gene sequence for the retinal photopigment, melanopsin, may be responsible for significant increased risk for mood disorders with a seasonal pattern, and may do so by leading to changes in activity and sleep timing in winter. The retinal sensitivity of SAD is hypothesized to be decreased compared to controls, and that further decrements in winter light levels may combine to trigger depression in winter. Here we outline steps for new research to address the possible role of melanopsin in seasonal affective disorder including chromatic pupillometry designed to measure the sensitivity of melanopsin containing retinal ganglion cells.
Koo, Ja-Won; Homanics, Gregg E; Balaban, Carey D
This study documents morphologic alterations in the spiral ganglion and Scarpa's ganglion from gamma-aminobutyric acid A (GABA(A)) receptor beta(3) subunit null mutant mice. The ganglion cells of the mutant mice were hypoplastic in hematoylin&eosin-stained sections. Hypoplasia was observed at every location of the spiral ganglion and Scarpa's ganglion except the apical cochlear turn. Calretinin immunostaining demonstrated a selective hypoplasia of calretinin-negative cells at every location of spiral and Scarpa's ganglion cells, while the soma area of calretinin-positive cells was not affected by the gene deletion. Meanwhile, in the spiral ganglion of both wild type and knockout mice, there were apical to basal gradients in the soma size and the proportion of calretinin-positive cells. The absence of statistically significant hypoplasia in hematoylin&eosin sections through the apical turn of the cochlea can be explained by the relatively higher proportion of calretinin-positive ganglion cells, which were unaffected by the gene deletion. These findings suggest that GABA(A) receptor isoforms containing the beta(3) subunit may play an important role in the development and differentiation of non-calyceal terminals of Scarpa's ganglion cells and type II and smaller type I spiral ganglion cells.
Morin, Lawrence P.; Blanchard, Jane H.; Provencio, Ignacio
The circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) receives direct retinal input via the retinohypothalamic tract (RHT), and the retinal ganglion cells contributing to this projection may be specialized with respect to direct regulation of the circadian clock. However, some ganglion cells forming the RHT bifurcate, sending axon collaterals to the intergeniculate leaflet (IGL) through which light has secondary access to the circadian clock. The present studies provide a more extensive examination of ganglion cell bifurcation and evaluate whether ganglion cells projecting to several subcortical visual nuclei contain melanopsin, a putative ganglion cell photopigment. The results showed that retinal ganglion cells projecting to the SCN send collaterals to the IGL, olivary pretectal nucleus, and superior colliculus, among other places. Melanopsin-immunoreactive (IR) ganglion cells are present in the hamster retina, and some of these cells project to the SCN, IGL, olivary pretectal nucleus, or superior colliculus. Triple-label analysis showed that melanopsin-IR cells bifurcate and project bilaterally to each SCN, but not to the other visual nuclei evaluated. The melanopsin-IR cells have photoreceptive characteristics optimal for circadian rhythm regulation. However, the presence of moderately widespread bifurcation among ganglion cells projecting to the SCN, and projection by melanopsin-IR cells to locations distinct from the SCN and without known rhythm function, suggest that this ganglion cell type is generalized, rather than specialized, with respect to the conveyance of photic information to the brain. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Ding, Dalian; Roth, Jerome; Salvi, Richard
Occupational exposure to high atmospheric levels of Mn produces a severe and debilitating disorder known as manganism characterized by extrapyramidal disturbances similar to that seen in Parkinson’s disease. Epidemiological and case studies suggest that persistent exposures to Mn may have deleterious effects on other organs including the auditory system and hearing. Mn accumulates in the inner ear following acute exposure raising the possibility that it can damage the sensory hair cells that convert sound into neural activity or spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) that transmit acoustic information from the hair cells to the brain via the auditory nerve. In this paper we demonstrate for first time that Mn causes significant damage to the sensory hair cells, peripheral auditory nerve fibers (ANF) and SGN in cochlear organotypic cultures isolated from postnatal day three rats. The peripheral ANF that make synaptic contact with the sensory hair cells were particularly vulnerable to Mn toxicity; damage occurred at concentrations as low 0.01 mM and increased with dose and duration of Mn exposure. Sensory hair cells, in contrast, were slightly more resistant to Mn toxicity than the ANF. Mn induced an atypical pattern of sensory cell damage; Mn was more toxic to inner hair cells (IHC) than outer hair cells (OHC) and in addition, IHC loss was relatively uniform along the length of the cochlea. Mn also caused significant loss and shrinkage of SGN soma. These findings are the first to demonstrate that Mn can produce severe lesions to both neurons and hair cells in the postnatal inner ear. PMID:21182863
Ding, Dalian; Roth, Jerome; Salvi, Richard
Occupational exposure to high atmospheric levels of Mn produces a severe and debilitating disorder known as manganism characterized by extrapyramidal disturbances similar to that seen in Parkinson's disease. Epidemiological and case studies suggest that persistent exposures to Mn may have deleterious effects on other organs including the auditory system and hearing. Mn accumulates in the inner ear following acute exposure raising the possibility that it can damage the sensory hair cells that convert sound into neural activity or spiral ganglion neurons (SGN) that transmit acoustic information from the hair cells to the brain via the auditory nerve. In this paper we demonstrate for first time that Mn causes significant damage to the sensory hair cells, peripheral auditory nerve fibers (ANF) and SGN in cochlear organotypic cultures isolated from postnatal day three rats. The peripheral ANF that make synaptic contact with the sensory hair cells were particularly vulnerable to Mn toxicity; damage occurred at concentrations as low 0.01 mM and increased with dose and duration of Mn exposure. Sensory hair cells, in contrast, were slightly more resistant to Mn toxicity than the ANF. Mn induced an atypical pattern of sensory cell damage; Mn was more toxic to inner hair cells (IHC) than outer hair cells (OHC) and in addition, IHC loss was relatively uniform along the length of the cochlea. Mn also caused significant loss and shrinkage of SGN soma. These findings are the first to demonstrate that Mn can produce severe lesions to both neurons and hair cells in the postnatal inner ear.
Masri, Rania A; Percival, Kumiko A; Koizumi, Amane; Martin, Paul R; Grünert, Ulrike
Parallel visual pathways originate at the first synapse in the retina, where cones make connections with cone bipolar cells that in turn contact ganglion cells. There are more ganglion cell types than bipolar types, suggesting that there must be divergence from bipolar to ganglion cells. Here we analyze the contacts between an OFF bipolar type (DB3a) and six ganglion cell types in the retina of the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus). Ganglion cells were transfected via particle-mediated gene transfer of an expression plasmid for the postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP), and DB3a cells were labeled via immunohistochemistry. Ganglion cell types that fully or partially costratified with DB3a cells included OFF parasol, OFF midget, broad thorny, recursive bistratified, small bistratified, and large bistratified cells. On average, the number of DB3a contacts to parasol cells (18 contacts per axon terminal) is higher than that to other ganglion cell types (between four and seven contacts). We estimate that the DB3a output to OFF parasol cells accounts for at least 30% of the total DB3a output. Furthermore, we found that OFF parasol cells receive approximately 20% of their total bipolar input from DB3a cells, suggesting that other diffuse bipolar types also provide input to OFF parasol cells. We conclude that DB3a cells preferentially contact OFF parasol cells but also provide input to other ganglion cell types.
Reifler, Aaron N.; Chervenak, Andrew P.; Dolikian, Michael E.; Benenati, Brian A.; Li, Benjamin Y.; Wachter, Rebecca D.; Lynch, Andrew M.; Demertzis, Zachary D.; Meyers, Benjamin S.; Abufarha, Fady S.; Jaeckel, Elizabeth R.; Flannery, Michael P.; Wong, Kwoon Y.
SUMMARY Retinal neurons exhibit sustained vs. transient light responses, which are thought to encode low- and high-frequency stimuli respectively. This dichotomy has been recognized since the earliest intracellular recordings from the 1960s, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. We report that in the ganglion cell layer of rat retinas, all spiking amacrine interneurons with sustained ON photoresponses receive gap-junction input from intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), recently discovered photoreceptors that specialize in prolonged irradiance detection. We have identified three morphological varieties of such ipRGC-driven displaced amacrine cells: 1) monostratified cells with dendrites terminating exclusively in sublamina S5 of the inner plexiform layer; 2) bistratified cells with dendrites in both S1 and S5; and 3) polyaxonal cells with dendrites and axons stratifying in S5. Most of these amacrine cells are wide-field, although some are medium-field. The three classes respond to light differently, suggesting they probably perform diverse functions. These results demonstrate that ipRGCs are a major source of tonic visual information within the retina and exert widespread intraretinal influence. They also add to recent evidence that ganglion cells signal not only to the brain. PMID:26441349
van Rijn, C M; Marani, E; Rietveld, W J
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) administered postnatally to the albino rat causes extensive destruction of the retina. This MSG effect does not result in complete blindness. Ganglion cells surviving the MSG treatment are healthy and functional. Using retrogradely transported HRP and Nissl staining in whole mounted retinas, it was found that the ganglion cells left after MSG treatment are not smaller than those in controls, that these cells do not belong to one cell size group, and that no cells size group is selectively missed. The results explain why photic entrainment of MSG treated animals is still possible.
Froger, Nicolas; Cadetti, Lucia; Lorach, Henri; Martins, Joao; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Dubus, Elisabeth; Degardin, Julie; Pain, Dorothée; Forster, Valérie; Chicaud, Laurent; Ivkovic, Ivana; Simonutti, Manuel; Fouquet, Stéphane; Jammoul, Firas; Léveillard, Thierry; Benosman, Ryad; Sahel, José-Alain; Picaud, Serge
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration occurs in numerous retinal diseases leading to blindness, either as a primary process like in glaucoma, or secondary to photoreceptor loss. However, no commercial drug is yet directly targeting RGCs for their neuroprotection. In the 70s, taurine, a small sulfonic acid provided by nutrition, was found to be essential for the survival of photoreceptors, but this dependence was not related to any retinal disease. More recently, taurine deprivation was incriminated in the retinal toxicity of an antiepileptic drug. We demonstrate here that taurine can improve RGC survival in culture or in different animal models of RGC degeneration. Taurine effect on RGC survival was assessed in vitro on primary pure RCG cultures under serum-deprivation conditions, and on NMDA-treated retinal explants from adult rats. In vivo, taurine was administered through the drinking water in two glaucomatous animal models (DBA/2J mice and rats with vein occlusion) and in a model of Retinitis pigmentosa with secondary RGC degeneration (P23H rats). After a 6-day incubation, 1 mM taurine significantly enhanced RGCs survival (+68%), whereas control RGCs were cultured in a taurine-free medium, containing all natural amino-acids. This effect was found to rely on taurine-uptake by RGCs. Furthermore taurine (1 mM) partly prevented NMDA-induced RGC excitotoxicity. Finally, taurine supplementation increased RGC densities both in DBA/2J mice, in rats with vein occlusion and in P23H rats by contrast to controls drinking taurine-free water. This study indicates that enriched taurine nutrition can directly promote RGC survival through RGC intracellular pathways. It provides evidence that taurine can positively interfere with retinal degenerative diseases.
Ross‐Cisneros, Fred N.; Koronyo, Yosef; Hannibal, Jens; Gallassi, Roberto; Cantalupo, Gaetano; Sambati, Luisa; Pan, Billy X.; Tozer, Kevin R.; Barboni, Piero; Provini, Federica; Avanzini, Pietro; Carbonelli, Michele; Pelosi, Annalisa; Chui, Helena; Liguori, Rocco; Baruzzi, Agostino; Koronyo‐Hamaoui, Maya; Sadun, Alfredo A.; Carelli, Valerio
Objective Melanopsin retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) are photoreceptors driving circadian photoentrainment, and circadian dysfunction characterizes Alzheimer disease (AD). We investigated mRGCs in AD, hypothesizing that they contribute to circadian dysfunction. Methods We assessed retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness by optical coherence tomography (OCT) in 21 mild‐moderate AD patients, and in a subgroup of 16 we evaluated rest–activity circadian rhythm by actigraphy. We studied postmortem mRGCs by immunohistochemistry in retinas, and axons in optic nerve cross‐sections of 14 neuropathologically confirmed AD patients. We coimmunostained for retinal amyloid β (Aβ) deposition and melanopsin to locate mRGCs. All AD cohorts were compared with age‐matched controls. Results We demonstrated an age‐related optic neuropathy in AD by OCT, with a significant reduction of RNFL thickness (p = 0.038), more evident in the superior quadrant (p = 0.006). Axonal loss was confirmed in postmortem AD optic nerves. Abnormal circadian function characterized only a subgroup of AD patients. Sleep efficiency was significantly reduced in AD patients (p = 0.001). We also found a significant loss of mRGCs in postmortem AD retinal specimens (p = 0.003) across all ages and abnormal mRGC dendritic morphology and size (p = 0.003). In flat‐mounted AD retinas, Aβ accumulation was remarkably evident inside and around mRGCs. Interpretation We show variable degrees of rest–activity circadian dysfunction in AD patients. We also demonstrate age‐related loss of optic nerve axons and specifically mRGC loss and pathology in postmortem AD retinal specimens, associated with Aβ deposition. These results all support the concept that mRGC degeneration is a contributor to circadian rhythm dysfunction in AD. ANN NEUROL 2016;79:90–109 PMID:26505992
Froger, Nicolas; Cadetti, Lucia; Lorach, Henri; Martins, Joao; Bemelmans, Alexis-Pierre; Dubus, Elisabeth; Degardin, Julie; Pain, Dorothée; Forster, Valérie; Chicaud, Laurent; Ivkovic, Ivana; Simonutti, Manuel; Fouquet, Stéphane; Jammoul, Firas; Léveillard, Thierry; Benosman, Ryad; Sahel, José-Alain; Picaud, Serge
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration occurs in numerous retinal diseases leading to blindness, either as a primary process like in glaucoma, or secondary to photoreceptor loss. However, no commercial drug is yet directly targeting RGCs for their neuroprotection. In the 70s, taurine, a small sulfonic acid provided by nutrition, was found to be essential for the survival of photoreceptors, but this dependence was not related to any retinal disease. More recently, taurine deprivation was incriminated in the retinal toxicity of an antiepileptic drug. We demonstrate here that taurine can improve RGC survival in culture or in different animal models of RGC degeneration. Taurine effect on RGC survival was assessed in vitro on primary pure RCG cultures under serum-deprivation conditions, and on NMDA-treated retinal explants from adult rats. In vivo, taurine was administered through the drinking water in two glaucomatous animal models (DBA/2J mice and rats with vein occlusion) and in a model of Retinitis pigmentosa with secondary RGC degeneration (P23H rats). After a 6-day incubation, 1 mM taurine significantly enhanced RGCs survival (+68%), whereas control RGCs were cultured in a taurine-free medium, containing all natural amino-acids. This effect was found to rely on taurine-uptake by RGCs. Furthermore taurine (1 mM) partly prevented NMDA-induced RGC excitotoxicity. Finally, taurine supplementation increased RGC densities both in DBA/2J mice, in rats with vein occlusion and in P23H rats by contrast to controls drinking taurine-free water. This study indicates that enriched taurine nutrition can directly promote RGC survival through RGC intracellular pathways. It provides evidence that taurine can positively interfere with retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:23115615
Hughes, S; Jagannath, A; Rodgers, J; Hankins, M W; Peirson, S N; Foster, R G
Over the past two decades there have been significant advances in our understanding of both the anatomy and function of the melanopsin system. It has become clear that rather than acting as a simple irradiance detector the melanopsin system is in fact far more complicated. The range of behavioural systems known to be influenced by melanopsin activity is increasing with time, and it is now clear that melanopsin contributes not only to multiple non-image forming systems but also has a role in visual pathways. How melanopsin is capable of driving so many different behaviours is unclear, but recent evidence suggests that the answer may lie in the diversity of melanopsin light responses and the functional specialisation of photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (pRGC) subtypes. In this review, we shall overview the current understanding of the melanopsin system, and evaluate the evidence for the hypothesis that individual pRGC subtypes not only perform specific roles, but are functionally specialised to do so. We conclude that while, currently, the available data somewhat support this hypothesis, we currently lack the necessary detail to fully understand how the functional diversity of pRGC subtypes correlates with different behavioural responses, and ultimately why such complexity is required within the melanopsin system. What we are lacking is a cohesive understanding of how light responses differ between the pRGC subtypes (based not only on anatomical classification but also based on their site of innervation); how these diverse light responses are generated, and most importantly how these responses relate to the physiological functions they underpin. PMID:26768919
Cui, Yuwei; Wang, Yanbin V; Park, Silvia J H; Demb, Jonathan B; Butts, Daniel A
Visual processing depends on specific computations implemented by complex neural circuits. Here, we present a circuit-inspired model of retinal ganglion cell computation, targeted to explain their temporal dynamics and adaptation to contrast. To localize the sources of such processing, we used recordings at the levels of synaptic input and spiking output in the in vitro mouse retina. We found that an ON-Alpha ganglion cell's excitatory synaptic inputs were described by a divisive interaction between excitation and delayed suppression, which explained nonlinear processing that was already present in ganglion cell inputs. Ganglion cell output was further shaped by spike generation mechanisms. The full model accurately predicted spike responses with unprecedented millisecond precision, and accurately described contrast adaptation of the spike train. These results demonstrate how circuit and cell-intrinsic mechanisms interact for ganglion cell function and, more generally, illustrate the power of circuit-inspired modeling of sensory processing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19460.001 PMID:27841746
Maffei, Lamberto; Galli-Resta, Lucia
The spontaneous discharges of neighboring retinal ganglion cells were recorded simultaneously in anesthetized prenatal rats between embryonic days 18 and 21. We report here that in the majority of cases the firings of neighboring retinal ganglion cells are strongly correlated during prenatal life. Correlation in the discharges of neighboring cells during development has long been suggested as a way to consolidate synaptic connections with a target cell onto which they converge, a model first proposed by Hebb. Correlation in the activities of neighboring neurons in the retina could be the basis of developmental processes such as refinement of retinotopic maps in the brain and segregation of the inputs from the two eyes.
Hellström, Mats; Harvey, Alan R
In this paper we present a brief review of studies that have reported therapeutic benefits of elevated cAMP on plasticity and regeneration after injury to the central nervous system (CNS). We also provide new data on the cellular mechanisms by which elevation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) promotes cytokine driven regeneration of adult CNS axons, using the visual system as the experimental model. cAMP is a second messenger for many intracellular signalling pathways. Elevation of cAMP in the eye by intravitreal injection of the cell permeant analogue (8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; CPT-cAMP), when added to recombinant ciliary neurotrophic factor (rCNTF), significantly enhances rCNTF-induced regeneration of adult rat retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons into peripheral nerve (PN) grafted onto transected optic nerve. This effect is mediated to some extent by protein kinase A (PKA) signalling, but CPT-cAMP also acts via PI3K/Akt signalling to reduce suppressor of cytokine signalling protein 3 (SOCS3) activity in RGCs. Another target for cAMP is the exchange protein activated by cAMP (Epac), which can also mediate cAMP-induced axonal growth. Here we describe some novel results and discuss to what extent the pro-regenerative effects of CPT-cAMP on adult RGCs are mediated via Epac as well as via PKA-dependent pathways. We used the established PN-optic nerve graft model and quantified the survival and regenerative growth of adult rat RGCs after intravitreal injection of rCNTF in combination with a selective activator of PKA and/or a specific activator of Epac. Viable RGCs were identified by βIII-tubulin immunohistochemistry and regenerating RGCs retrogradely labelled and quantified after an injection of fluorogold into the distal end of the PN grafts, 4 weeks post-transplantation. The specific agonists of either PKA or Epac were both effective in enhancing the effects of rCNTF on RGC axonal regeneration, but interestingly, injections
Braas, K.M.; Zarbin, M.A.; Snyder, S.H.
Using specific sensitive antisera against adenosine, we have immunocytochemically localized endogenous adenosine to specific layers of rat, guinea pig, monkey, and human retina. Highest adenosine immunoreactivity was observed in ganglion cells and their processes in the optic nerve fiber layer. Substantial staining was also found throughout the inner plexiform layer and in select cells in the inner nuclear layer. Adenosine A1 receptors, labeled with the agonists L-(/sup 3/H)phenylisopropyladenosine and /sup 125/I-labeled hydroxy-phenylisopropyladenosine, were autoradiographically localized. The highest levels of binding sites occurred in the nerve fiber, ganglion cell, and inner plexiform layers of the retina in all the species examined. The distribution of adenosine A1 receptor sites closely parallels that of retinal neurons and fibers containing immunoreactive adenosine. These results suggest a role for endogenous adenosine as a coneurotransmitter in ganglion cells and their fibers in the optic nerve.
Mass, Alla M; Supin, Alexander Y; Abramov, Andrey V; Mukhametov, Lev M; Rozanova, Elena I
Retinal topography, cell density and sizes of ganglion cells in the killer whale (Orcinus orca) were analyzed in retinal whole mounts stained with cresyl violet. A distinctive feature of the killer whale's retina is the large size of ganglion cells and low cell density compared to terrestrial mammals. The ganglion cell diameter ranged from 8 to 100 µm, with the majority of cells within a range of 20-40 µm. The topographic distribution of ganglion cells displayed two spots of high cell density located in the temporal and nasal quadrants, 20 mm from the optic disk. The high-density areas were connected by a horizontal belt-like area passing below the optic disk of the retina. Peak cell densities in these areas were evaluated. Mean peak cell densities were 334 and 288 cells/mm(2) in the temporal and nasal high-density areas, respectively. With a posterior nodal distance of 19.5 mm, these high-density data predict a retinal resolution of 9.6' (3.1 cycles/deg.) and 12.6' (2.4 cycles/deg.) in the temporal and nasal areas, respectively, in water.
Mass, Alla M; Ketten, Darlene R; Odell, Daniel K; Supin, Alexander Ya
The topographic organization of retinal ganglion cells was examined in the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to assess ganglion cell size and distribution and to estimate retinal resolution. The ganglion cell layer of the manatee's retina was comprised primarily of large neurons with broad intercellular spaces. Cell sizes varied from 10 to 60 μm in diameter (mean 24.3 μm). The retinal wholemounts from adult animals measured 446-501 mm(2) in area with total ganglion cell counts of 62,000-81,800 (mean 70,200). The cell density changed across the retina, with the maximum in the area below the optic disc and decreasing toward the retinal edges and in the immediate vicinity of the optic disc. The maximum cell density ranged from 235 to 337 cells per millimeter square in the adult retinae. Two wholemounts obtained from juvenile animals were 271 and 282 mm(2) in area with total cell numbers of 70,900 and 68,700, respectively (mean 69,800), that is, nearly equivalent to those of adults, but juvenile retinae consequently had maximum cell densities that were higher than those of adults: 478 and 491 cells per millimeter square. Calculations indicate a retinal resolution of ∼19' (1.6 cycles per degree) in both adult and juvenile retinae.
Sadeghi, K; Gauthier, J L; Field, G D; Greschner, M; Agne, M; Chichilnisky, E J; Paninski, L
It has recently become possible to identify cone photoreceptors in primate retina from multi-electrode recordings of ganglion cell spiking driven by visual stimuli of sufficiently high spatial resolution. In this paper we present a statistical approach to the problem of identifying the number, locations, and color types of the cones observed in this type of experiment. We develop an adaptive Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method that explores the space of cone configurations, using a Linear-Nonlinear-Poisson (LNP) encoding model of ganglion cell spiking output, while analytically integrating out the functional weights between cones and ganglion cells. This method provides information about our posterior certainty about the inferred cone properties, and additionally leads to improvements in both the speed and quality of the inferred cone maps, compared to earlier "greedy" computational approaches.
Baylor, D A; Fettiplace, R
1. Light reponses and electrical constants of ganglion cells in the retina of the turtle were examined by intracellular recording in eyecup preparations. 2. In 'on', 'off', and 'on/off' cells, the impulses produced by illumination of the centre of the receptive field arose from slow synaptic depolarizations. The ganglion cells also exhibited inhibitory synaptic potentials. 3. The synaptic depolarization evoked by a step change in light intensity rose more slowly than the response of the cones in which the excitation originated, and the depolarization then declined in spite of a well maintained cone response. This behaviour is consistent with the notion advanced previously that, during transmission to ganglion cells, receptor signals are relayed through the equivalent of a bandpass filter. 4. The e.p.s.p.s evoked by light grew when the membrane was hyperpolarized by injected current and decreased when the membrane was depolarized. The i.p.s.p.s reversed at a level slightly negative to the resting potential in darkness. 5. In neither 'on' nor 'off' ganglion cells did the synaptic potentials evoked by step changes in illumination show the hyperpolarizing phases expected of a linear filter. The absence of hyperpolarizations is consistent with a rectification which permits transmission of depolarizations but not hyperpolarizations from bipolar to ganglion cells. 6. In darkness the membrane potential of some ganglion cells showed random depolarizations which brought the potential near the threshold for impulse generation. 7. With very small spots in the receptive field centre the 'on' responses of ganglion cells to flashes and steps of light grew approximately linearly with stimulus intensity. The step reponse was not, however, related to the flash response by superposition. Larger spots in the field centre gave responses which grew non-linearly with the intensity of even dim stimuli. 8 Depolarizing current passed through the recording electrode elicited a repetitive
We propose ganglion cell receptive-field-type filters with the use of the photoreceptor protein bacteriorhodopsin. Visual image processing is possible with the use of only one sensing element. We also demonstrate that our difference of Gaussians (DOG) filter, which mimics on-center off-suround ganglion cell receptive fields, has the function of a Laplacian filter and can act as an edge detecor. The X-type receptive field responses obtained by the filter, for a variety of stimuli, are compared with available electrophysiological recodings.
RAYMOND, IONA D.; POOL, ANGELA L.; VILA, ALEJANDRO; BRECHA, NICHOLAS C.
A DBA/2J (D2) transgenic mouse line with cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) reporter expression in ganglion cells was developed for the analysis of ganglion cells during progressive glaucoma. The Thy1-CFP D2 (CFP-D2) line was created by congenically breeding the D2 line, which develops pigmentary glaucoma, and the Thy1-CFP line, which expresses CFP in ganglion cells. Microsatellite marker analysis of CFP-D2 progeny verified the genetic inclusion of the D2 isa and ipd loci. Specific mutations within these loci lead to dysfunctional melanosomal proteins and glaucomatous phenotype in D2 mice. Polymerase chain reaction analysis confirmed the inclusion of the Thy1-CFP transgene. CFP-fluorescent ganglion cells, 6–20 μm in diameter, were distributed in all retinal regions, CFP processes were throughout the inner plexiform layer, and CFP-fluorescent axons were in the fiber layer and optic nerve head. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies to ganglion cell markers NF-L, NeuN, Brn3a, and SMI32 was used to confirm CFP expression in ganglion cells. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies to amacrine cell markers HPC-1 and ChAT was used to confirm weak CFP expression in cholinergic amacrine cells. CFP-D2 mice developed a glaucomatous phenotype, including iris disease, ganglion cell loss, attrition of the fiber layer, and elevated intraocular pressure. A CFP-D2 transgenic line with CFP-expressing ganglion cells was developed, which has (1) a predominantly D2 genetic background, (2) CFP-expressing ganglion cells, and (3) age-related progressive glaucoma. This line will be of value for experimental studies investigating ganglion cells and their axons in vivo and in vitro during the progressive development of glaucoma. PMID:19930759
Akimov, Nikolay P.; Marshak, David W.; Frishman, Laura J.; Yusupov, Rafail G.
Purpose. In Old World primates, the retina receives input from histaminergic neurons in the posterior hypothalamus. They are a subset of the neurons that project throughout the central nervous system and fire maximally during the day. The contribution of these neurons to vision, was examined by applying histamine to a dark-adapted, superfused baboon eye cup preparation while making extracellular recordings from peripheral retinal ganglion cells. Methods. The stimuli were 5-ms, 560-nm, weak, full-field flashes in the low scotopic range. Ganglion cells with sustained and transient ON responses and two cell types with OFF responses were distinguished; their responses were recorded with a 16-channel microelectrode array. Results. Low micromolar doses of histamine decreased the rate of maintained firing and the light sensitivity of ON ganglion cells. Both sustained and transient ON cells responded similarly to histamine. There were no statistically significant effects of histamine in a more limited study of OFF ganglion cells. The response latencies of ON cells were approximately 5 ms slower, on average, when histamine was present. Histamine also reduced the signal-to-noise ratio of ON cells, particularly in those cells with a histamine-induced increase in maintained activity. Conclusions. A major action of histamine released from retinopetal axons under dark-adapted conditions, when rod signals dominate the response, is to reduce the sensitivity of ON ganglion cells to light flashes. These findings may relate to reports that humans are less sensitive to light stimuli in the scotopic range during the day, when histamine release in the retina is expected to be at its maximum. PMID:20207974
Akimov, Nikolay P; Marshak, David W; Frishman, Laura J; Glickman, Randolph D; Yusupov, Rafail G
PURPOSE. In Old World primates, the retina receives input from histaminergic neurons in the posterior hypothalamus. They are a subset of the neurons that project throughout the central nervous system and fire maximally during the day. The contribution of these neurons to vision, was examined by applying histamine to a dark-adapted, superfused baboon eye cup preparation while making extracellular recordings from peripheral retinal ganglion cells. METHODS. The stimuli were 5-ms, 560-nm, weak, full-field flashes in the low scotopic range. Ganglion cells with sustained and transient ON responses and two cell types with OFF responses were distinguished; their responses were recorded with a 16-channel microelectrode array. RESULTS. Low micromolar doses of histamine decreased the rate of maintained firing and the light sensitivity of ON ganglion cells. Both sustained and transient ON cells responded similarly to histamine. There were no statistically significant effects of histamine in a more limited study of OFF ganglion cells. The response latencies of ON cells were approximately 5 ms slower, on average, when histamine was present. Histamine also reduced the signal-to-noise ratio of ON cells, particularly in those cells with a histamine-induced increase in maintained activity. CONCLUSIONS. A major action of histamine released from retinopetal axons under dark-adapted conditions, when rod signals dominate the response, is to reduce the sensitivity of ON ganglion cells to light flashes. These findings may relate to reports that humans are less sensitive to light stimuli in the scotopic range during the day, when histamine release in the retina is expected to be at its maximum.
Wong, R O; Wye-Dvorak, J; Henry, G H
The morphology of the ganglion cell layer of the adult tammar wallaby has been examined from Nissl-stained retinal flatmounts. From this material, neurons have been classed as ganglion cells or displaced amacrine cells according to the disposition of Nissl substance. A further subdivision of ganglion cells into a separate group of alphalike cells was assisted by determining the range of soma sizes in neurofibrillar-stained flatmounts, a method which, in the cat, has revealed the presence of alpha cells. Isodensity contour maps prepared from the Nissl-stained flatmounts show a well-developed visual streak and an area centralis in the total neuronal population. A similar pattern was also found in the ganglion cells, thus confirming Tancred's (J. Comp. Neurol. 196:585-603, '81) finding, and, as well, in the alphalike ganglion cells and the displaced amacrine cells. The relative proportions of ganglion cells to displaced amacrines (GC:DA) were evaluated from isodensity profiles drawn along and vertical to the visual streak for the two cell types and also from maps showing the variation in the GC:DA ratio throughout the retina. A comparison with results published for other species shows that the visual streak development in the tammar wallaby is consistent with the expectations of the "terrain" theory and that, in its relative proportion of displaced amacrines, the tammar closely resembles the rabbit but contrasts sharply with the cat, which has half as many ganglion cells and three times as many displaced amacrines as the other two species.
Chen, Ying-Jiun J.; Friedman, Brad A.; Ha, Connie; Durinck, Steffen; Liu, Jinfeng; Rubenstein, John L.; Seshagiri, Somasekar; Modrusan, Zora
Many subtypes of cortical interneurons (CINs) are found in adult mouse cortices, but the mechanism generating their diversity remains elusive. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing on the mouse embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (MGE), the major birthplace for CINs, and on MGE-like cells differentiated from embryonic stem cells. Two distinct cell types were identified as proliferating neural progenitors and immature neurons, both of which comprised sub-populations. Although lineage development of MGE progenitors was reconstructed and immature neurons were characterized as GABAergic, cells that might correspond to precursors of different CINs were not identified. A few non-neuronal cell types were detected, including microglia. In vitro MGE-like cells resembled bona fide MGE cells but expressed lower levels of Foxg1 and Epha4. Together, our data provide detailed understanding of the embryonic MGE developmental program and suggest how CINs are specified. PMID:28361918
Fletcher, Lee Norman; Coimbra, João Paulo; Rodger, Jennifer; Potter, Ian C; Gill, Howard S; Dunlop, Sarah A; Collin, Shaun P
Lampreys are one of two extant representatives of the earliest group of vertebrates, the agnathans or jawless fishes. The single species of the southern hemisphere lamprey family Geotriidae, Geotria australis, possesses the potential for pentachromatic color discrimination opposed to the mono- or dichromacy found in other lampreys. However, little is known of the retinal ganglion cell types that contribute to visual processing in G. australis. A quantitative morphological approach was used to distinguish and describe retinal ganglion cell types in G. australis. The morphology of retinal ganglion cells was revealed by retrograde biocytin labeling from the optic disc. Cells were digitally reconstructed, and somatic area and position and dendritic field size, density, tortuosity, and stratification were subjected to quantitative morphometric analyses. Cluster analysis, in conjunction with similarity profile analysis (SIMPROF), statistically identified five discrete monostratified retinal ganglion cell types, one of which may comprise two subtypes. Two bistratified types were identified separately, including a biplexiform and a bistratified subtype. The use of cluster analysis with SIMPROF provided a robust statistical technique for objectively identifying cell types whose characteristics were similar and significantly different from those of other types and thus provides an objective resolution of the problems posed by "lumpers vs. splitters" when designating cell types. The diversity of retinal ganglion cells suggests that visual information in the lamprey G. australis is processed in parallel streams, as in gnathostomes. These findings, together with the results of previous studies, indicate that the visual system of the lamprey G. australis represents the upper limit of visual complexity in extant agnathans.
Tsujimura, T; Nunotani, H; Fushimi, H; Inoue, T
To clarify the histological changes of the cardiac autonomic nervous system in diabetes mellitus, ganglionic cells of the hearts of autopsy cases were examined light microscopically. In 7 severely diabetic patients, the ganglionic neurons showed cellular contraction, cytoplasmic condensation and poor staining of Nissl substance. As neuronal alterations were obvious neither in the mild diabetic patients nor in the non-diabetic patients, these alterations therefore seemed to correlate with diabetes mellitus. The neuronal changes did not seem to correlate with major coronary arterial atherosclerotic narrowing.
Arman, A Cyrus; Sampath, Alapakkam P
The nervous system frequently integrates parallel streams of information to encode a broad range of stimulus strengths. In mammalian retina it is generally believed that signals generated by rod and cone photoreceptors converge onto cone bipolar cells prior to reaching the retinal output, the ganglion cells. Near absolute visual threshold a specialized mammalian retinal circuit, the rod bipolar pathway, pools signals from many rods and converges on depolarizing (AII) amacrine cells. However, whether subsequent signal flow to OFF ganglion cells requires OFF cone bipolar cells near visual threshold remains unclear. Glycinergic synapses between AII amacrine cells and OFF cone bipolar cells are believed to relay subsequently rod-driven signals to OFF ganglion cells. However, AII amacrine cells also make glycinergic synapses directly with OFF ganglion cells. To determine the route for signal flow near visual threshold, we measured the effect of the glycine receptor antagonist strychnine on response threshold in fully dark-adapted retinal cells. As shown previously, we found that response threshold for OFF ganglion cells was elevated by strychnine. Surprisingly, strychnine did not elevate response threshold in any subclass of OFF cone bipolar cell. Instead, in every OFF cone bipolar subclass strychnine suppressed tonic glycinergic inhibition without altering response threshold. Consistent with this lack of influence of strychnine, we found that the dominant input to OFF cone bipolar cells in darkness was excitatory and the response threshold of the excitatory input varied by subclass. Thus, in the dark-adapted mouse retina, the high absolute sensitivity of OFF ganglion cells cannot be explained by signal transmission through OFF cone bipolar cells.
Mass, A M; Supin, A Y
The topographic distribution, density, and size of ganglion cells were studied in retinal wholemounts of the sea otter, Enhydra lutris. The cell distribution showed a well defined horizontal streak of higher cell density, and within this streak, a narrow area of the highest cell density. The peak cell density in this area ranged from 4050 to 4400 cells/mm(2), with a mean of 4225 cells/mm(2). The ganglion cell size ranged from 7 microm to 47 microm but the majority of cells were 7 to 30 microm. Cell size distribution revealed three size groups: 7-16, 17-28, and 29-47 microm. The highest-density area contained mainly small (7-16 microm) cells. The cell-density data predict a retinal resolution around 7' in water. Retinal organization in the sea otter exhibits more properties common with terrestrial rather than aquatic mammals, both in terms of ganglion cell characteristics and in terms of their topographic distribution.
Hayashida, Yuki; Rodríguez, Carolina Varela; Ogata, Genki; Partida, Gloria J.; Oi, Hanako; Stradleigh, Tyler W.; Lee, Sherwin C.; Colado, Anselmo Felipe; Ishida, Andrew T.
The spike output of neural pathways can be regulated by modulating output neuron excitability and/or their synaptic inputs. Dopaminergic interneurons synapse onto cells that route signals to mammalian retinal ganglion cells, but it is unknown whether dopamine can activate receptors in these ganglion cells and, if it does, how this affects their excitability. Here, we show D1a-receptor-like immunoreactivity in ganglion cells identified in adult rats by retrogradely transported dextran, and that dopamine, D1-type receptor agonists, and cAMP analogs inhibit spiking in ganglion cells dissociated from adult rats. These ligands curtailed repetitive spiking during constant current injections, and reduced the number and rate of rise of spikes elicited by fluctuating current injections without significantly altering the timing of the remaining spikes. Consistent with mediation by D1-type receptors, SCH-23390 reversed the effects of dopamine on spikes. Contrary to a recent report, spike inhibition by dopamine was not precluded by blocking Ih. Consistent with the reduced rate of spike rise, dopamine reduced voltage-gated Na+ current (INa) amplitude and tetrodotoxin, at doses that reduced INa as moderately as dopamine, also inhibited spiking. These results provide the first direct evidence that D1-type dopamine receptor activation can alter mammalian retinal ganglion cell excitability, and demonstrate that dopamine can modulate spikes in these cells by a mechanism different from the pre- and postsynaptic means proposed by previous studies. To our knowledge, our results also provide the first evidence that dopamine receptor activation can reduce excitability without altering the temporal precision of spike firing. PMID:19940196
Muniz, José Augusto Pereira Carneiro; de Athaide, Luana Modesto; Gomes, Bruno Duarte; Finlay, Barbara L; Silveira, Luiz Carlos de Lima
Unlike all other New World (platyrrine) monkeys, both male and female howler monkeys (Alouatta sp.) are obligatory trichromats. In all other platyrrines, only females can be trichromats, while males are always dichromats, as determined by multiple behavioral, electrophysiological, and genetic studies. In addition to obligatory trichromacy, Alouatta has an unusual fovea, with substantially higher peak cone density in the foveal pit than every other diurnal anthropoid monkey (both platyrrhines and catarrhines) and great ape yet examined, including humans. In addition to documenting the general organization of the retinal ganglion cell layer in Alouatta, the distribution of cones is compared to retinal ganglion cells, to explore possible relationships between their atypical trichromacy and foveal specialization. The number and distribution of retinal ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells were determined in six flat-mounted retinas from five Alouatta caraya. Ganglion cell density peaked at 0.5 mm between the fovea and optic nerve head, reaching 40,700-45,200 cells/mm2. Displaced amacrine cell density distribution peaked between 0.5-1.75 mm from the fovea, reaching mean values between 2,050-3,100 cells/mm2. The mean number of ganglion cells was 1,133,000±79,000 cells and the mean number of displaced amacrine cells was 537,000±61,800 cells, in retinas of mean area 641±62 mm2. Ganglion cell and displaced amacrine cell density distribution in the Alouatta retina was consistent with that observed among several species of diurnal Anthropoidea, both platyrrhines and catarrhines. The principal alteration in the Alouatta retina appears not to be in the number of any retinal cell class, but rather a marked gradient in cone density within the fovea, which could potentially support high chromatic acuity in a restricted central region.
Muniz, José Augusto Pereira Carneiro; de Athaide, Luana Modesto; Gomes, Bruno Duarte; Finlay, Barbara L.; Silveira, Luiz Carlos de Lima
Unlike all other New World (platyrrine) monkeys, both male and female howler monkeys (Alouatta sp.) are obligatory trichromats. In all other platyrrines, only females can be trichromats, while males are always dichromats, as determined by multiple behavioral, electrophysiological, and genetic studies. In addition to obligatory trichromacy, Alouatta has an unusual fovea, with substantially higher peak cone density in the foveal pit than every other diurnal anthropoid monkey (both platyrrhines and catarrhines) and great ape yet examined, including humans. In addition to documenting the general organization of the retinal ganglion cell layer in Alouatta, the distribution of cones is compared to retinal ganglion cells, to explore possible relationships between their atypical trichromacy and foveal specialization. The number and distribution of retinal ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells were determined in six flat-mounted retinas from five Alouatta caraya. Ganglion cell density peaked at 0.5 mm between the fovea and optic nerve head, reaching 40,700–45,200 cells/mm2. Displaced amacrine cell density distribution peaked between 0.5–1.75 mm from the fovea, reaching mean values between 2,050–3,100 cells/mm2. The mean number of ganglion cells was 1,133,000±79,000 cells and the mean number of displaced amacrine cells was 537,000±61,800 cells, in retinas of mean area 641±62 mm2. Ganglion cell and displaced amacrine cell density distribution in the Alouatta retina was consistent with that observed among several species of diurnal Anthropoidea, both platyrrhines and catarrhines. The principal alteration in the Alouatta retina appears not to be in the number of any retinal cell class, but rather a marked gradient in cone density within the fovea, which could potentially support high chromatic acuity in a restricted central region. PMID:25546077
Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Rondón, Netxibeth; Esquiva, Gema; Germain, Francisco; de la Villa, Pedro; Cuenca, Nicolás
Retinal ganglion cell degeneration underlies the pathophysiology of diseases affecting the retina and optic nerve. Several studies have previously evidenced the anti-apoptotic properties of the bile constituent, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, in diverse models of photoreceptor degeneration. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of systemic administration of tauroursodeoxycholic acid on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced damage in the rat retina using a functional and morphological approach. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid was administered intraperitoneally before and after intravitreal injection of NMDA. Three days after insult, full-field electroretinograms showed reductions in the amplitudes of the positive and negative-scotopic threshold responses, scotopic a- and b-waves and oscillatory potentials. Quantitative morphological evaluation of whole-mount retinas demonstrated a reduction in the density of retinal ganglion cells. Systemic administration of tauroursodeoxycholic acid attenuated the functional impairment induced by NMDA, which correlated with a higher retinal ganglion cell density. Our findings sustain the efficacy of tauroursodeoxycholic acid administration in vivo, suggesting it would be a good candidate for the pharmacological treatment of degenerative diseases coursing with retinal ganglion cell loss. PMID:26379056
Gómez-Vicente, Violeta; Lax, Pedro; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Rondón, Netxibeth; Esquiva, Gema; Germain, Francisco; de la Villa, Pedro; Cuenca, Nicolás
Retinal ganglion cell degeneration underlies the pathophysiology of diseases affecting the retina and optic nerve. Several studies have previously evidenced the anti-apoptotic properties of the bile constituent, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, in diverse models of photoreceptor degeneration. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of systemic administration of tauroursodeoxycholic acid on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced damage in the rat retina using a functional and morphological approach. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid was administered intraperitoneally before and after intravitreal injection of NMDA. Three days after insult, full-field electroretinograms showed reductions in the amplitudes of the positive and negative-scotopic threshold responses, scotopic a- and b-waves and oscillatory potentials. Quantitative morphological evaluation of whole-mount retinas demonstrated a reduction in the density of retinal ganglion cells. Systemic administration of tauroursodeoxycholic acid attenuated the functional impairment induced by NMDA, which correlated with a higher retinal ganglion cell density. Our findings sustain the efficacy of tauroursodeoxycholic acid administration in vivo, suggesting it would be a good candidate for the pharmacological treatment of degenerative diseases coursing with retinal ganglion cell loss.
The effects of intense, but nonlesion-producing, laser exposures of 20-ns duration were determined on the light responses and spontaneous activity of retinal ganglion cells recorded in situ from the rhesus monkey. (Following a single, 20-ns exposure centered on its receptive field, a ganglion cell produced an 'afterdischarge' of maintained action potentials). The duration of the afterdischarge depended on the diameter of the laser beam on the retina and on the beam's intensity. Laser exposures subtending 0.5 to 2.0 deg, and delivering 45 to 60% of the maximum permissible exposure, elicited afterdischarges that lasted up to 80 s. When the beam diameter was decreased to 0.25 deg, the afterdischarge was reduced to 30 s, and to less than 5 s with the 0.12-deg beam. Light sensitivity after the laser exposure recovered rapidly during the first 10 s and then more slowly, but exponentially, until it reached the preflash level. Color-opponent ganglion cells exhibited a phenomenon called 'response-reversal' after the laser exposure, presumably due to selective adaptation of a mid-wavelength cone-input. Because a 20-ns exposure, regardless of intensity, is likely to photoregenerate more than half of the available visual pigment, the effects of ganglion cell response described here are not likely to be due solely to pigment bleaching.
Sekirnjak, Chris; Hottowy, Pawel; Sher, Alexander; Dabrowski, Wladyslaw; Litke, Alan M.; Chichilnisky, E. J.
Current epiretinal implants contain a small number of electrodes with diameters of a few hundred microns. Smaller electrodes are desirable to increase the spatial resolution of artificial sight. To lay the foundation for the next generation of retinal prostheses, we assessed the stimulation efficacy of micro-fabricated arrays of 61 platinum disk electrodes with diameters 8-12 μm, spaced 60 μm apart. Isolated pieces of rat, guinea pig, and monkey retina were placed on the multi-electrode array ganglion cell side down and stimulated through individual electrodes with biphasic, charge-balanced current pulses. Spike responses from retinal ganglion cells were recorded either from the same or a neighboring electrode. Most pulses evoked only 1-2 spikes with short latencies (0.3-10 ms), and rarely was more than one recorded ganglion cell stimulated. Threshold charge densities for eliciting spikes in ganglion cells were typically below 0.15 mC/cm2 for pulse durations between 50 and 200 μs, corresponding to charge thresholds of ˜ 100 pC. Stimulation remained effective after several hours and at frequencies up to 100 Hz. Application of cadmium chloride did not abolish evoked spikes, implying direct activation. Thus, electrical stimulation of mammalian retina with small-diameter electrodes is achievable, providing high temporal and spatial precision with low charge densities.
Mass, Alla M; Supin, A Y
Retinal topography, cell density and sizes of ganglion cells in the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica) were analyzed in retinal whole mounts stained with cresyl-violet. The topographic distribution of ganglion cells displayed an area of high cell density located in the temporal quadrant of the retina and was similar to the area centralis of terrestrial carnivores. It extended nasally, above the optic disk, as a streak of increased cell density. In different whole mounts, the peak cell density in the high-density area ranged from 1,684 to 1,844 cells/mm² (mean 1,773 cells/mm²). The cell density data predict a retinal resolution of around 8.5 cycles/degree in water. A distinctive feature of the Caspian seal's retina is the large size of ganglion cells and the low cell density compared to terrestrial mammals. The ganglion cell diameter ranged from 10 to 58 μm. Cell size histograms featured bimodal patterns with groups of small and large ganglion cells. The large cells appeared similar to α-cells of terrestrial mammals and constituted 7% of the total ganglion cell population.
Miura, Makoto; Sando, Isamu; Hirsch, Barry E; Orita, Yorihisa
This study analyzed features of total and segmental spiral ganglion cell populations in children with normal ears and those with various pathological conditions. Sixty-three human temporal bone specimens, obtained from 43 children 4 days to 9 years of age, were studied histopathologically. These specimens were divided into 5 diagnostic groups: group 1, normal ears (13 ears); group 2, congenital infectious diseases (13 ears); group 3, chromosomal aberrations (11 ears); group 4, multiple craniofacial anomalies with hereditary or genetic causes (21 ears); and group 5, perinatal and postnatal asphyxia (5 ears). Eighteen of the 63 ears had documented profound deafness. In either normal ears (group 1) or those with various pathological conditions (groups 2 through 5), the total number of ganglion cells did not change as a function of age during the first 10 years. The total number of ganglion cells was significantly larger in group 1 (33,702) than in each of groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 (p < .01), and the number was significantly larger in group 2 than in each of groups 4 and 5 (p < .01 and p < .05, respectively). The ratio of basal to apical ganglion cell populations remained constant in both normal and pathological ears. Each ratio of the number of basal and apical ganglion cells in groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 to the mean number in group 1 (basal and apical survival ratios) was at least approximately 40%. There was no statistical difference between these two ratios in groups 2, 3, 4, and 5. The mean (+/-SD) total number of ganglion cells in ears with documented profound deafness was 15,417 +/- 5,944, which is approximately 40% of those present in normal ears. Our results suggest that normally, cochlear neurons are completely present at birth and minimally regress during the first decade of life. In addition, although intergroup differences among various pathological groups were present, the majority of pathological ears had more than 10,000 spiral ganglion cells present. Cochlear
Ariel, M.; Daw, N. W.
1. Retinal ganglion cells were recorded extracellularly from the rabbit's eye in situ to study the effects of cholinergic drugs on receptive field properties. Physostigmine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, and nicotine increased the spontaneous activity of nearly all retinal ganglion cell types. The effectiveness of physostigmine was roughly correlated with the neurone's inherent level of spontaneous activity. Brisk cells, having high rates of spontaneous firing, showed large increases in their maintained discharge, whereas sluggish cells, with few or no spontaneous spikes, showed small and sometimes transient increases in spontaneous activity during physostigmine. 2. The sensitivity of ganglion cells to spots of optimal size and position did not change substantially during the infusion of physostigmine. However, the responsiveness to light (number of spikes per stimulus above the spontaneous level) increased. This effect occurred with sluggish and more complex cells, rarely with brisk cells. 3. Another effect of physostigmine on sluggish and more complex cells was to make these cells `on—off'. The additional response to the inappropriate change in contrast had a long latency and lacked an initial transient burst. 4. Complex receptive field properties such as orientation sensitivity, radial grating inhibition, speed tuning and size specificity were also examined. These inhibitory properties were still present during infusion of physostigmine and, in most cases, the trigger feature of each cell type remained. 5. These results are consistent with pharmacological results on ACh release from the retina. There appear to be two types of release of ACh, having their most powerful influences on separate classes of cells. One release (transient), occurs at light onset and offset and acts primarily on sluggish and more complex ganglion cells; the other release (tonic) is not light-modulated and acts primarily on brisk cells. A wiring diagram for the ACh cells is
Percival, Kumiko A; Venkataramani, Sowmya; Smith, Robert G; Rowland Taylor, W
Directional responses in retinal ganglion cells are generated in large part by direction-selective release of GABA from starburst amacrine cells onto direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs). The excitatory inputs to DSGCs are also widely reported to be direction-selective, however, recent evidence suggests that glutamate release from bipolar cells is not directional, and directional excitation seen in patch-clamp analyses may be an artifact resulting from incomplete voltage control. Here we test this voltage-clamp-artifact hypothesis in recordings from 62 On-Off DSGCs in the rabbit retina. The strength of the directional excitatory signal varies considerably across the sample of cells, but is not correlated with the strength of directional inhibition, as required for a voltage-clamp artifact. These results implicate additional mechanisms in generating directional excitatory inputs to DSGCs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Branch, Darren W.; Cooley, Erika Jane; Smith, Gennifer Tanabe; James, Conrad D.; McClain, Jaime L.
A microfluidic acoustic-based cell lysing device that can be integrated with on-chip nucleic acid extraction. Using a bulk acoustic wave (BAW) transducer array, acoustic waves can be coupled into microfluidic cartridges resulting in the lysis of cells contained therein by localized acoustic pressure. Cellular materials can then be extracted from the lysed cells. For example, nucleic acids can be extracted from the lysate using silica-based sol-gel filled microchannels, nucleic acid binding magnetic beads, or Nafion-coated electrodes. Integration of cell lysis and nucleic acid extraction on-chip enables a small, portable system that allows for rapid analysis in the field.
Coimbra, João Paulo; Bertelsen, Mads F; Manger, Paul R
The river hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), one of the closest extant relatives to cetaceans, is a large African even-toed ungulate (Artiodactyla) that grazes and has a semiaquatic lifestyle. Given its unusual phenotype, ecology and evolutionary history, we sought to measure the topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cell density using stereology and retinal wholemounts. We estimated a total of 243,000 ganglion cells of which 3.4% (8,300) comprise alpha cells. The topographic distribution of both total and alpha cells reveal a dual topographic organization of a temporal and nasal area embedded within a well-defined horizontal streak. Using maximum density of total ganglion cells and eye size (35 mm, axial length), we estimated upper limits of spatial resolving power of 8 cycles/deg (temporal area, 1,800 cells/mm(2) ), 7.7 cycles/deg (nasal area, 1,700 cells/mm(2) ) and 4.2 cycles/deg (horizontal streak, 250 cells/mm(2) ). Enhanced resolution of the temporal area towards the frontal visual field may facilitate grazing, whereas resolution of the horizontal streak and nasal area may help the discrimination of objects (predators, conspecifics) in the lateral and posterior visual fields, respectively. Given the presumed role of alpha cells to detect brisk transient stimuli, their similar distribution to the total ganglion cell population may facilitate the detection of approaching objects in equivalent portions of the visual field. Our finding of a nasal area in the river hippopotamus retina supports the notion that this specialization may enhance visual sampling in the posterior visual field to compensate for limited neck mobility as suggested for rhinoceroses and cetaceans. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Andrade-da-Costa, B L; Pessoa, V F; Bousfield, J D; Clarke, R J
The distribution of ganglion cell densities and sizes was studied in Nissl-stained flat-mount retinae of the two-toed sloth. The area centralis, a weak specialization with low ganglion cell density, is located in the temporal retina close to the center of the eye. The presence of a visual streak was noted. The distribution of different ganglion cell sizes was approximately equal throughout the retina. Although the retinal organization differs from that of the closely related three-toed sloth, the presumed function of retinal specializations in both species is to guide limb movements by permitting visualization of the branch along which the animal is climbing.
Ahumada, Albert J.
An unsupervised learning model for developing LM specific wiring at the ganglion cell level would support the research indicating LM specific wiring at the ganglion cell level (Reid and Shapley, 2002). Removing the contributions to the surround from cells of the same cone type improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the chromatic signals. The unsupervised learning model used is Hebbian associative learning, which strengthens the surround input connections according to the correlation of the output with the input. Since the surround units of the same cone type as the center are redundant with the center, their weights end up disappearing. This process can be thought of as a general mechanism for eliminating unnecessary cells in the nervous system.
Wang, Guo-Yong; Liets, Lauren C; Chalupa, Leo M
Several lines of evidence suggest that nitric oxide (NO) can regulate diverse retinal functions, but whether this gas is capable of modulating the visual responses of retinal output neurons has not been established. In the present study the effects of NO on rod-driven responses of retinal ganglion cells were tested by making whole cell patch-clamp recordings from morphologically identified ganglion cells in the isolated ferret retina. Bath application of L-arginine, the substrate of nitric oxide synthase, and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, the NO donor, was found to differentially affect on and off discharge patterns. The introduction of these drugs significantly decreased visual responses of retinal ganglion cells, but the effects were more pronounced on off than on on discharges. The peak discharge rates of on responses were usually reduced by about 40%, but not completely blocked. In contrast, off responses were completely blocked in most cells. These differential effects were observed in on-off cells as well as in cells that yielded just on or off discharges. The off responses that were blocked by NO were also blocked by DL-2-amino-phosphonobutyric acid (APB) and strychnine, suggesting the involvement of the APB-sensitive rod pathway.
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) have been well characterized in mammalian systems, both morphologically and electrophysiologically. They show slow, sustained responses to bright light in the absence of photoreceptor-based input, mediated by the photopigment melanopsin. Only one mammalian melanopsin gene is expressed in a small fraction of the retinal ganglion cell population, but there are two genes for melanopsin among nonmammalian vertebrates that are widely expressed in a variety of retinal and extraretinal cell types, along with other photosensitive pigments. The current study provides an electrophysiological study of ipRGCs in the larval tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), a nonmammalian vertebrate with a well-characterized retina. The results show that the ipRGC population is equivalent to the ON ganglion cell population in the tiger salamander retina. This sheds light on the evolutionary trajectory and functional significance of intrinsic photosensitivity through the vertebrate lineage and also affects our understanding of ON cell activity and development. We have characterized the nature of the intrinsic responses of the ON cell population, compared intrinsic and synaptically based receptive fields, and quantified the spectrum of the intrinsic activity. A wider action spectrum of intrinsic photosensitivity was obtained than would be expected for a single opsin photopigment, suggesting the expression of multiple photopigments in the salamander ipRGC. J. Comp. Neurol., 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodials, Inc.
Rodríguez-Muela, N; Germain, F; Mariño, G; Fitze, P S; Boya, P
Autophagy is an essential recycling pathway implicated in neurodegeneration either as a pro-survival or a pro-death mechanism. Its role after axonal injury is still uncertain. Axotomy of the optic nerve is a classical model of neurodegeneration. It induces retinal ganglion cell death, a process also occurring in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. We analyzed autophagy induction and cell survival following optic nerve transection (ONT) in mice. Our results demonstrate activation of autophagy shortly after axotomy with autophagosome formation, upregulation of the autophagy regulator Atg5 and apoptotic death of 50% of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after 5 days. Genetic downregulation of autophagy using knockout mice for Atg4B (another regulator of autophagy) or with specific deletion of Atg5 in retinal ganglion cells, using the Atg5flox/flox mice reduces cell survival after ONT, whereas pharmacological induction of autophagy in vivo increases the number of surviving cells. In conclusion, our data support that autophagy has a cytoprotective role in RGCs after traumatic injury and may provide a new therapeutic strategy to ameliorate retinal diseases. PMID:21701497
Syc, Stephanie B; Saidha, Shiv; Newsome, Scott D; Ratchford, John N; Levy, Michael; Ford, E'tona; Crainiceanu, Ciprian M; Durbin, Mary K; Oakley, Jonathan D; Meyer, Scott A; Frohman, Elliot M; Calabresi, Peter A
Post-mortem ganglion cell dropout has been observed in multiple sclerosis; however, longitudinal in vivo assessment of retinal neuronal layers following acute optic neuritis remains largely unexplored. Peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer thickness, measured by optical coherence tomography, has been proposed as an outcome measure in studies of neuroprotective agents in multiple sclerosis, yet potential swelling during the acute stages of optic neuritis may confound baseline measurements. The objective of this study was to ascertain whether patients with multiple sclerosis or neuromyelitis optica develop retinal neuronal layer pathology following acute optic neuritis, and to systematically characterize such changes in vivo over time. Spectral domain optical coherence tomography imaging, including automated retinal layer segmentation, was performed serially in 20 participants during the acute phase of optic neuritis, and again 3 and 6 months later. Imaging was performed cross-sectionally in 98 multiple sclerosis participants, 22 neuromyelitis optica participants and 72 healthy controls. Neuronal thinning was observed in the ganglion cell layer of eyes affected by acute optic neuritis 3 and 6 months after onset (P < 0.001). Baseline ganglion cell layer thicknesses did not demonstrate swelling when compared with contralateral unaffected eyes, whereas peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer oedema was observed in affected eyes (P = 0.008) and subsequently thinned over the course of this study. Ganglion cell layer thickness was lower in both participants with multiple sclerosis and participants with neuromyelitis optica, with and without a history of optic neuritis, when compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001) and correlated with visual function. Of all patient groups investigated, those with neuromyelitis optica and a history of optic neuritis exhibited the greatest reduction in ganglion cell layer thickness. Results from our in vivo longitudinal study
Coimbra, João Paulo; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P; Manger, Paul R
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is a browser that uses its extensible tongue to selectively collect leaves during foraging. As the tallest extant terrestrial mammal, its elevated head height provides panoramic surveillance of the environment. These aspects of the giraffe's ecology and phenotype suggest that vision is of prime importance. Using Nissl-stained retinal wholemounts and stereological methods, we quantitatively assessed the retinal specializations in the ganglion cell layer of the giraffe. The mean total number of retinal ganglion cells was 1,393,779 and their topographic distribution revealed the presence of a horizontal visual streak and a temporal area. With a mean peak of 14,271 cells/mm(2), upper limits of spatial resolving power in the temporal area ranged from 25 to 27 cycles/degree. We also observed a dorsotemporal extension (anakatabatic area) that tapers toward the nasal retina giving rise to a complete dorsal arch. Using neurofilament-200 immunohistochemistry, we also detected a dorsal arch formed by alpha ganglion cells with density peaks in the temporal (14-15 cells/mm(2)) and dorsonasal (10 cells/mm(2)) regions. As with other artiodactyls, the giraffe shares the presence of a horizontal streak and a temporal area which, respectively, improve resolution along the horizon and in the frontal visual field. The dorsal arch is related to the giraffe's head height and affords enhanced resolution in the inferior visual field. The alpha ganglion cell distribution pattern is unique to the giraffe and enhances acquisition of motion information for the control of tongue movement during foraging and the detection of predators.
Zhang, Ai-Jun; Wu, Samuel M.
Retinal amacrine cells (ACs) and ganglion cells (GCs) have been shown to display large morphological diversity, and here we show that four types of ACs and three types of GCs exhibit physiologically-distinguishable properties. They are the sustained ON ACs; sustained OFF ACs; transient ON-OFF ACs; transient ON-OFF ACs with wide receptive fields; sustained ON-center/OFF-surround GCs; sustained OFF-center/ON-surround GCs and transient ON-OFF GCs. By comparing response waveforms, receptive fields and relative rod/cone inputs of ACs and GCs with the corresponding parameters of various types of the presynaptic bipolar cells (BCs), we analyze how different types of BCs mediate synaptic inputs to various ACs and GCs. Although more types of third-order retinal neurons may be identified by more refined classification criteria, our observations suggest that many morphologically-distinct ACs and GCs share very similar physiological responses. PMID:20085780
Sivyer, Benjamin; Taylor, W Rowland; Vaney, David I
Retinal ganglion cells convey information by increasing their firing in response to an optimal visual stimulus or "trigger feature." However, one class of ganglion cell responds to changes in the visual scene by decreasing its firing. These cells, termed uniformity detectors in the rabbit retina, are encountered only rarely and the synaptic mechanisms underlying their unusual responses have not been investigated. In this study, patch-clamp recordings of uniformity detectors show that the action potentials underlying the maintained firing arise within "complex spikes." Both ON and OFF visual stimuli elicit only inhibitory synaptic input, the immediate effect of which is to suppress the maintained firing. However, this inhibition also alters the properties of the "renascent" spiking by increasing the amplitude of the spikes within each burst, suggesting that the effect may increase the efficacy of spike propagation and transmission.
Kodousek, R; Schrottenbaum, M
The intracellular penetrating activity of amoebas of Limax-type (vs. Naegleria fowleri) was observed in a previously published case of the PAME with fulminant lethal course in man. This invasion concerned some ganglion cells of the cerebral cortex and - exceptionally - also the Purkinje-cells in the cerebellum. As to the formal genesis, adjacent and penetrating forms were identified in relation to the ganglion cells, and finally invaded neurons containing solitary or - exceptionally - two parasites were noted. This phenomenon of the intraneuronal lesion due to amoebae in PAME is said to be in relation to the active penetrating activity of the relatively small and mobile type of the protozoal parasite in invaded host tissues.
Rettenmaier, Alexander; Lenarz, Thomas; Reuter, Günter
Optical stimulation of the inner ear has recently attracted attention, suggesting a higher frequency resolution compared to electrical cochlear implants due to its high spatial stimulation selectivity. Although the feasibility of the effect is shown in multiple in vivo experiments, the stimulation mechanism remains open to discussion. Here we investigate in single-cell measurements the reaction of spiral ganglion neurons and model cells to irradiation with a nanosecond-pulsed laser beam over a broad wavelength range from 420 nm up to 1950 nm using the patch clamp technique. Cell reactions were wavelength- and pulse-energy-dependent but too small to elicit action potentials in the investigated spiral ganglion neurons. As the applied radiant exposure was much higher than the reported threshold for in vivo experiments in the same laser regime, we conclude that in a stimulation paradigm with nanosecond-pulses, direct neuronal stimulation is not the main cause of optical cochlea stimulation. PMID:24761285
Weick, Michael; Demb, Jonathan B.
SUMMARY Retinal ganglion cells adapt by reducing their sensitivity during periods of high contrast. Contrast adaptation in the firing response depends on both presynaptic and intrinsic mechanisms. Here, we investigated intrinsic mechanisms for contrast adaptation in OFF Alpha ganglion cells in the in vitro guinea pig retina. Using either visual stimulation or current injection, we show that brief depolarization evoked spiking and suppressed firing during subsequent depolarization. The suppression could be explained by Na channel inactivation, as shown in salamander cells. However, brief hyperpolarization in the physiological range (5–10 mV) also suppressed firing during subsequent depolarization. This suppression was sensitive selectively to blockers of delayed-rectifier K channels (KDR). Somatic membrane patches showed TEA-sensitive KDR currents with activation near −25 mV and removal of inactivation at voltages negative to Vrest. Brief periods of hyperpolarization apparently remove KDR inactivation and thereby increase the channel pool available to suppress excitability during subsequent depolarization. PMID:21745646
Lorber, Barbara; Berry, Martin; Logan, Ann
In the present study the effects of lens injury on retinal ganglion cell axon/neurite re-growth were investigated in adult mice. In vivo, lens injury promoted successful regeneration of retinal ganglion cell axons past the optic nerve lesion site, concomitant with the invasion of macrophages into the eye and the presence of activated retinal astrocytes/Muller cells. In vitro, retinal ganglion cells from lens-lesioned mice grew significantly longer neurites than those from intact mice, which correlated with the presence of enhanced numbers of activated retinal astrocytes/Muller cells. Co-culture of retinal ganglion cells from intact mice with macrophage-rich lesioned lens/vitreous body led to increased neurite lengths compared with co-culture with macrophage-free intact lens/vitreous body, pointing to a neurotrophic effect of macrophages. Furthermore, retinal ganglion cells from mice that had no lens injury but had received intravitreal Zymosan injections to stimulate macrophage invasion into the eye grew significantly longer neurites compared with controls, as did retinal ganglion cells from intact mice co-cultured with macrophage-rich vitreous body from Zymosan-treated mice. The intact lens, but not the intact vitreous body, exerted a neurotrophic effect on retinal ganglion cell neurite outgrowth, suggesting that lens-derived neurotrophic factor(s) conspire with those derived from macrophages in lens injury-stimulated axon regeneration. Together, these results show that lens injury promotes retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration/neurite outgrowth in adult mice, an observation with important implications for axon regeneration studies in transgenic mouse models.
Jang, Sujeong; Cho, Hyong-Ho; Kim, Song-Hee; Lee, Kyung-Hwa; Cho, Yong-Bum; Park, Jong-Seong; Jeong, Han-Seong
Excessive noise, ototoxic drugs, infections, autoimmune diseases, and aging can cause loss of spiral ganglion neurons, leading to permanent sensorineural hearing loss in mammals. Stem cells have been confirmed to be able to differentiate into spiral ganglion neurons. Little has been reported on adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) for repair of injured spiral ganglion neurons. In this study, we hypothesized that transplantation of neural induced-human ADSCs (NI-hADSCs) can repair the injured spiral ganglion neurons in guinea pigs with neomycin-induced sensorineural hearing loss. NI-hADSCs were induced with culture medium containing basic fibroblast growth factor and forskolin and then injected to the injured cochleae. Guinea pigs that received injection of Hanks' balanced salt solution into the cochleae were used as controls. Hematoxylin-eosin staining showed that at 8 weeks after cell transplantation, the number of surviving spiral ganglion neurons in the cell transplantation group was significantly increased than that in the control group. Also at 8 weeks after cell transplantation, immunohistochemical staining showed that a greater number of NI-hADSCs in the spiral ganglions were detected in the cell transplantation group than in the control group, and these NI-hADSCs expressed neuronal markers neurofilament protein and microtubule-associated protein 2. Within 8 weeks after cell transplantation, the guinea pigs in the cell transplantation group had a gradually decreased auditory brainstem response threshold, while those in the control group had almost no response to 80 dB of clicks or pure tone burst. These findings suggest that a large amount of NI-hADSCs migrated to the spiral ganglions, survived for a period of time, repaired the injured spiral ganglion cells, and thereby contributed to the recovery of sensorineural hearing loss in guinea pigs.
Purpura, K.; Kaplan, E.; Shapley, R. M.
Retinal ganglion cells projecting to the monkey lateral geniculate nucleus fall into two classes: those projecting to the magnocellular layers of the nucleus (M cells) have a higher contrast gain to luminance patterns at photopic levels of retinal illumination than those projecting to the parvocellular layers (P cells). We report here that this difference in luminance contrast gain between M and P cells is maintained at low levels of mean retinal illumination. In fact, our results suggest that in the mesopic and scotopic ranges of mean illumination, the M-cell/magnocellular pathway is the predominant conveyor of information about spatial contrast to the visual cortex.
... Popup Figures Figure 1 - Ganglion on the top side of the wrist Figure 2 - A ganglion cyst at the end joint of the finger, also known as a mucous cyst Figure 3 - Cross-section of wrist showing the root of a ganglion cyst PDF Ganglion Cysts Related Conditions Trigger Finger Hand Tumors ...
Orientation selectivity (OS) is a prominent and well studied feature of early visual processing in mammals, but recent work has highlighted the possibility that parallel OS circuits might exist in multiple brain locations. Although both classic and modern work has identified an OS mechanism in selective wiring from lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to primary visual cortex, OS responses have now been found upstream of cortex in mouse LGN and superior colliculus, suggesting a possible origin in the retina. Indeed, retinal OS responses have been reported for decades in rabbit and more recently in mouse. However, we still know very little about the properties and mechanisms of retinal OS in the mouse, including whether there is a distinct OS ganglion cell type, which orientations are represented, and what are the synaptic mechanisms of retinal OS. We have identified two novel types of OS ganglion cells in the mouse retina that are highly selective for horizontal and vertical cardinal orientations. Reconstructions of the dendritic trees of these OS ganglion cells and measurements of their synaptic conductances offer insights into the mechanism of the OS computation at the earliest stage of the visual system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Orientation selectivity (OS) is one of the most well studied computations in the brain and has become a prominent model system in various areas of sensory neuroscience. Although the cortical mechanism of OS suggested by Hubel and Wiesel (1962) has been investigated intensely, other OS cells exist upstream of cortex as early as the retina and the mechanisms of OS in subcortical regions are much less well understood. We identified two ON retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in mouse that compute OS along the horizontal (nasal–temporal) and vertical (dorsoventral) axes of visual space. We show the relationship between dendritic morphology and OS for each RGC type and reveal new synaptic mechanisms of OS computation in the retina. PMID:26985031
Nießner, Christine; Gross, Julia Christina; Denzau, Susanne; Peichl, Leo; Fleissner, Gerta; Wiltschko, Wolfgang; Wiltschko, Roswitha
Cryptochromes, blue-light absorbing proteins involved in the circadian clock, have been proposed to be the receptor molecules of the avian magnetic compass. In birds, several cryptochromes occur: Cryptochrome 2, Cryptochrome 4 and two splice products of Cryptochrome 1, Cry1a and Cry1b. With an antibody not distinguishing between the two splice products, Cryptochrome 1 had been detected in the retinal ganglion cells of garden warblers during migration. A recent study located Cry1a in the outer segments of UV/V-cones in the retina of domestic chickens and European robins, another migratory species. Here we report the presence of cryptochrome 1b (eCry1b) in retinal ganglion cells and displaced ganglion cells of European Robins, Erithacus rubecula. Immuno-histochemistry at the light microscopic and electron microscopic level showed eCry1b in the cell plasma, free in the cytosol as well as bound to membranes. This is supported by immuno-blotting. However, this applies only to robins in the migratory state. After the end of the migratory phase, the amount of eCry1b was markedly reduced and hardly detectable. In robins, the amount of eCry1b in the retinal ganglion cells varies with season: it appears to be strongly expressed only during the migratory period when the birds show nocturnal migratory restlessness. Since the avian magnetic compass does not seem to be restricted to the migratory phase, this seasonal variation makes a role of eCry1b in magnetoreception rather unlikely. Rather, it could be involved in physiological processes controlling migratory restlessness and thus enabling birds to perform their nocturnal flights. PMID:26953690
Sluch, Valentin M.; Davis, Chung-ha O.; Ranganathan, Vinod; Kerr, Justin M.; Krick, Kellin; Martin, Russ; Berlinicke, Cynthia A.; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Diamond, Jeffrey S.; Mao, Hai-Quan; Zack, Donald J.
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) injury and cell death from glaucoma and other forms of optic nerve disease is a major cause of irreversible vision loss and blindness. Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived RGCs could provide a source of cells for the development of novel therapeutic molecules as well as for potential cell-based therapies. In addition, such cells could provide insights into human RGC development, gene regulation, and neuronal biology. Here, we report a simple, adherent cell culture protocol for differentiation of hPSCs to RGCs using a CRISPR-engineered RGC fluorescent reporter stem cell line. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting of the differentiated cultures yields a highly purified population of cells that express a range of RGC-enriched markers and exhibit morphological and physiological properties typical of RGCs. Additionally, we demonstrate that aligned nanofiber matrices can be used to guide the axonal outgrowth of hPSC-derived RGCs for in vitro optic nerve-like modeling. Lastly, using this protocol we identified forskolin as a potent promoter of RGC differentiation. PMID:26563826
Cho, Alice; Ratliff, Charles; Sampath, Alapakkam; Weiland, James
Objective. Here we investigate ganglion cell physiology in healthy and degenerating retina to test its influence on threshold to electrical stimulation. Approach. Age-related Macular Degeneration and Retinitis Pigmentosa cause blindness via outer retinal degeneration. Inner retinal pathways that transmit visual information to the central brain remain intact, so direct electrical stimulation from prosthetic devices offers the possibility for visual restoration. Since inner retinal physiology changes during degeneration, we characterize physiological properties and responses to electrical stimulation in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of both wild type mice and the rd10 mouse model of retinal degeneration. Main results. Our aggregate results support previous observations that elevated thresholds characterize diseased retinas. However, a physiology-driven classification scheme reveals distinct sub-populations of ganglion cells with thresholds either normal or strongly elevated compared to wild-type. When these populations are combined, only a weakly elevated threshold with large variance is observed. The cells with normal threshold are more depolarized at rest and exhibit periodic oscillations. Significance. During degeneration, physiological changes in RGCs affect the threshold stimulation currents required to evoke action potentials.
Van Hook, Matthew J; Berson, David M
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) express the photopigment melanopsin and serve as the primary retinal drivers of non-image-forming visual functions such as circadian photoentrainment, the pupillary light reflex, and suppression of melatonin production in the pineal. Past electrophysiological studies of these cells have focused on their intrinsic photosensitivity and synaptic inputs. Much less is known about their voltage-gated channels and how these might shape their output to non-image-forming visual centers. Here, we show that rat ipRGCs retrolabeled from the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) express a hyperpolarization-activated inwardly-rectifying current (I(h)). This current is blocked by the known I(h) blockers ZD7288 and extracellular cesium. As in other systems, including other retinal ganglion cells, I(h) in ipRGCs is characterized by slow kinetics and a slightly greater permeability for K(+) than for Na(+). Unlike in other systems, however, I(h) in ipRGCs apparently does not actively contribute to resting membrane potential. We also explore non-specific effects of the common I(h) blocker ZD7288 on rebound depolarization and evoked spiking and discuss possible functional roles of I(h) in non-image-forming vision. This study is the first to characterize I(h) in a well-defined population of retinal ganglion cells, namely SCN-projecting ipRGCs.
Freeman, Daniel K.; Fried, Shelley I.
Retinal prostheses aim to restore functional vision to those blinded by outer retinal diseases using electric stimulation of surviving neurons. Previous work indicates that repetitive stimulation with stimuli that activate the synaptic network reduces the sensitivity of retinal neurons to further stimulation. Such desensitization may contribute to the fading of visual percepts over time reported by human subjects. Here, we show that desensitization may be more complex than previously considered. We recorded spike trains from rabbit retinal ganglion cells and found that desensitization persists in the presence of inhibitory blockers (strychnine and picrotoxin), indicating amacrine cell inhibition is not solely responsible for reducing sensitivity in response to electric stimulation. The threshold for direct activation of the ganglion cell changes little during the simultaneous desensitization of the synaptically mediated response, indicating that desensitization likely occurs upstream of the spike generator. In addition to rapid desensitization acting over hundreds of milliseconds (τ = 176.4 ± 8.8 ms), we report the presence of slow acting desensitization with a time course of seconds (τ = 14.0 ± 1.1 s). The time courses of the two components of desensitization that we found are similar to the two phases of brightness fading seen in human subjects. This suggests that the reduction in ganglion cell firing due to desensitization may be responsible for the fading of visual percepts over time in response to prosthetic stimulation.
Cowan, Cameron S; Sabharwal, Jasdeep; Seilheimer, Robert L; Wu, Samuel M
The remarkable dynamic range of vision is facilitated by adaptation of retinal sensitivity to ambient lighting conditions. An important mechanism of sensitivity adaptation is control of the spatial and temporal window over which light is integrated. The retina accomplishes this by switching between parallel synaptic pathways with differing kinetics and degrees of synaptic convergence. However, the relative shifts in spatial and temporal integration are not well understood - particularly in the context of the antagonistic spatial surround. Here, we resolve these issues by characterizing the adaptation-induced changes to spatiotemporal integration in the linear receptive field center and surround of mouse retinal ganglion cells. While most ganglion cells lose their antagonistic spatial surround under scotopic conditions, a strong surround is maintained in a subset. We then applied a novel technique that allowed us to analyze the receptive field as a triphasic temporal filter in the center and a biphasic filter in the surround. The temporal tuning of the surround was relatively maintained across adaptation conditions compared to the center, which greatly increased its temporal integration. Though all phases of the center's triphasic temporal response slowed, some shifted significantly less. Additionally, adaptation differentially shifted ON and OFF pathway temporal tuning, reducing their asymmetry under scotopic conditions. Finally, spatial integration was significantly increased by dark adaptation in some cells while it decreased it in others. These findings provide novel insight into how adaptation adjusts visual information processing by altering fundamental properties of ganglion cell receptive fields, such as center-surround antagonism and space-time integration.
Rask-Andersen, Helge; Liu, Wei; Linthicum, Fred H
Background/Aims EAS technique combines electric and acoustic stimulation in the same ear and utilizes both low frequency acoustic hearing and electric stimulation of preserved neurons. We present data of ganglion cell and dendrite populations in ears from normal individuals and those suffered from adult-onset hereditary progressive hearing loss with various residual low tone hearing. Some of these were potential candidates for EAS surgery. The data may give us information about the neuro-anatomic situation in EAS ears. Methods Dendrites and ganglion cells were calculated and audio-cytocochleograms constructed. The temporal bones were from the collection at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, USA. Normal human anatomy, based on surgical specimens, is presented. Results IHCs and OHCs, supporting cells, ganglion cells and dendrites were preserved in the apical region. In the mid-frequency region, around 1 kHz, the OC with inner and outer hair cells were often conserved while in the lower basal turn, representing frequencies above 3 kHz, OC was atrophic and replaced by thin cells. Despite loss of hair cells and lamina fibers ganglion cells were present even after 28 years duration of deafness. Conclusions Conditions with profound SNHL with preserved low tone hearing may have several causes and the pathology may vary accordingly. In our patients with progressive adult-onset SNHL (amalgamated into “presbyacusis”) neurons were conserved even after long duration of deafness. These spiral ganglion cells may be excellent targets for electric stimulation using EAS technique. PMID:19955718
Wang, Guo-Yong; van der List, Deborah A; Nemargut, Joseph P; Coombs, Julie L; Chalupa, Leo M
We have shown previously that increasing the production of nitric oxide (NO) results in a dampening of visual responses of retinal ganglion cells (G. Y. Wang, L. C. Liets, & L. M. Chalupa, 2003). To gain further insights into the role of NO in retinal function, we made whole-cell patch clamp recordings from ganglion cells of neural type nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) gene knockout mice. Here we show that in the dark-adapted state, the sensitivity of retinal ganglion cell to light stimulation is decreased in nNOS knockout animals. The lowest light intensities required to evoke optimal responses and the average intensities that evoked half-maximal responses were significantly higher in nNOS knockouts than in normal mice. Retinal histology and other features of light-evoked responses of ganglion cells in nNOS mice appeared to be indistinguishable from those of normal mice. Collectively, these results, in conjunction with our previous work, provide evidence that increasing levels of NO dampen visual responses of ganglion cells, while a lack of nNOS decreases the sensitivity of these neurons to light. Thus, NO levels in the retina are capable of modulating the information that ganglion cells convey to the visual centers of the brain.
Pettigrew, John D; Manger, Paul R
A single right retina from a black rhinoceros was whole mounted, stained and analyzed to determine the visual resolution of the rhinoceros, an animal with reputedly poor eyesight. A range of small (15-microm diameter) to large (100-microm diameter) ganglion cell types was seen across the retina. We observed two regions of high density of retinal ganglion cells at either end of a long, but thin, horizontal streak. The temporal specialization, which receives light from the anterior visual field, exhibited a ganglion cell density of approximately 2000/mm2, while the nasal specialization exhibited a density of approximately 1500/mm2. The retina exhibited a ganglion cell density bias toward the upper half, especially so, the upper temporal quadrant, indicating that the rhinoceros would be processing visual information from the visual field below the anterior horizon for the most part. Our calculations indicate that the rhinoceros has a visual resolution of 6 cycles/degree. While this resolution is one-tenth that of humans (60 cycles/deg) and less than that of the domestic cat (9 cycles/deg), it is comparable to that of the rabbit (6 cycles/deg), and exceeds that seen in a variety of other mammals including seals, dolphins, microbats, and rats. Thus, the reputation of the rhinoceros as a myopic, weakly visual animal is not supported by our observations of the retina. We calculate that the black rhinoceros could readily distinguish a 30 cm wide human at a distance of around 200 m given the appropriate visual background.
So, Kwok-Fai; Leung, Mason Chin Pang; Cui, Qi
Injury to axons close to the neuronal bodies in the mammalian central nervous system causes a large proportion of parenting neurons to degenerate. It is known that optic nerve transection close to the eye in rodents leads to a loss of about half of retinal ganglion cells in 1 week and about 90% in 2 weeks. Using low level laser treatment in the present study, we demonstrated that treatment with helium-neon (660 nm) laser with 15 mW power could delay retinal ganglion cell death after optic nerve axotomy in adult hamsters. The effect was most apparent in the first week with a short period of treatment time (5 minutes) in which 65–66% of retinal ganglion cells survived the optic nerve axotomy whereas 45–47% of retinal ganglion cells did so in optic nerve axotomy controls. We also found that single dose and early commencement of laser irradiation were important in protecting retinal ganglion cells following optic nerve axotomy. These findings thus convincingly show that appropriate laser treatment may be neuroprotective to retinal ganglion cells. PMID:25558230
Stradleigh, Tyler W.; Greenberg, Kenneth P.; Partida, Gloria J.; Pham, Aaron; Ishida, Andrew T.
Protocols for characterizing cellular phenotypes commonly use chemical fixatives to preserve anatomical features, mechanically stabilize tissue, and stop physiological responses. Formaldehyde, diluted in either phosphate-buffered saline or phosphate buffer, has been widely used in studies of neurons, especially in conjunction with dyes and antibodies. However, previous studies have reported that these fixatives induce the formation of bead-like varicosities in the dendrites and axons of brain and spinal cord neurons. We report here that these formaldehyde formulations can induce bead formation in the dendrites and axons of adult rat and rabbit retinal ganglion cells, and that retinal ganglion cells differ from hippocampal, cortical, cerebellar, and spinal cord neurons in that bead formation is not blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists, a voltage-gated Na+ channel toxin, extracellular Ca2+ ion exclusion, or temperature shifts. Moreover, we describe a modification of formaldehyde-based fixatives that prevents bead formation in retinal ganglion cells visualized by green fluorescent protein expression and by immunohistochemistry. PMID:25283775
Stradleigh, Tyler W; Greenberg, Kenneth P; Partida, Gloria J; Pham, Aaron; Ishida, Andrew T
Protocols for characterizing cellular phenotypes commonly use chemical fixatives to preserve anatomical features, mechanically stabilize tissue, and stop physiological responses. Formaldehyde, diluted in either phosphate-buffered saline or phosphate buffer, has been widely used in studies of neurons, especially in conjunction with dyes and antibodies. However, previous studies have found that these fixatives induce the formation of bead-like varicosities in the dendrites and axons of brain and spinal cord neurons. We report here that these formaldehyde formulations can induce bead formation in the dendrites and axons of adult rat and rabbit retinal ganglion cells, and that retinal ganglion cells differ from hippocampal, cortical, cerebellar, and spinal cord neurons in that bead formation is not blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists, a voltage-gated Na(+) channel toxin, extracellular Ca(2+) ion exclusion, or temperature shifts. Moreover, we describe a modification of formaldehyde-based fixatives that prevents bead formation in retinal ganglion cells visualized by green fluorescent protein expression and by immunohistochemistry.
Barlow, H. B.; Levick, W. R.
1. Responses of cat retinal ganglion cells have been examined with a view to specifying the characteristics that limit the detection of light stimuli. 2. Threshold is defined as the weakest stimulus that can be reliably detected by examination of the output from a retinal ganglion cell; it depends upon (a) the quantum/spike ratio, which is the mean number of additional quantal absorptions required to produce an additional impulse, (b) the temporal course of the response, which determines the time interval within which the maintained discharge is modified, and (c) the statistical distribution of the number of impulses that occur in this time interval in the absence of the stimulus. 3. The quantum/spike ratio changes greatly when adapting luminance is changed, and this is the predominant factor accounting for changes in increment threshold. 4. The time course of the response changes with adaptation level and area of the stimulus. This may account for the changes in temporal integration that occur in analogous psychophysical experiments. 5. Changes in the irregularity of the maintained discharge also affect the threshold of single ganglion cells. This is only a minor factor in the conditions of most of our experiments, but it may be important when unstabilized images and non-equilibrium adaptation conditions are encountered. PMID:5761942
Becker, Silke; Eastlake, Karen; Jayaram, Hari; Jones, Megan F.; Brown, Robert A.; McLellan, Gillian J.; Charteris, David G.; Khaw, Peng T.
Human Müller glia with stem cell characteristics (hMGSCs) have been shown to improve retinal function upon transplantation into rat models of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) depletion. However, their translational potential may depend upon successful engraftment and improvement of retinal function in experimental models with anatomical and functional features resembling those of the human eye. We investigated the effect of allogeneic transplantation of feline Müller glia with the ability to differentiate into cells expressing RGC markers, following ablation of RGCs by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). Unlike previous observations in the rat, transplantation of hMGSC-derived RGCs into the feline vitreous formed aggregates and elicited a severe inflammatory response without improving visual function. In contrast, allogeneic transplantation of feline MGSC (fMGSC)-derived RGCs into the vitrectomized eye improved the scotopic threshold response (STR) of the electroretinogram (ERG). Despite causing functional improvement, the cells did not attach onto the retina and formed aggregates on peripheral vitreous remnants, suggesting that vitreous may constitute a barrier for cell attachment onto the retina. This was confirmed by observations that cellular scaffolds of compressed collagen and enriched preparations of fMGSC-derived RGCs facilitated cell attachment. Although cells did not migrate into the RGC layer or the optic nerve, they significantly improved the STR and the photopic negative response of the ERG, indicative of increased RGC function. These results suggest that MGSCs have a neuroprotective ability that promotes partial recovery of impaired RGC function and indicate that cell attachment onto the retina may be necessary for transplanted cells to confer neuroprotection to the retina. Significance Müller glia with stem cell characteristics are present in the adult human retina, but they do not have regenerative ability. These cells, however, have potential for
Becker, Silke; Eastlake, Karen; Jayaram, Hari; Jones, Megan F; Brown, Robert A; McLellan, Gillian J; Charteris, David G; Khaw, Peng T; Limb, G Astrid
Human Müller glia with stem cell characteristics (hMGSCs) have been shown to improve retinal function upon transplantation into rat models of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) depletion. However, their translational potential may depend upon successful engraftment and improvement of retinal function in experimental models with anatomical and functional features resembling those of the human eye. We investigated the effect of allogeneic transplantation of feline Müller glia with the ability to differentiate into cells expressing RGC markers, following ablation of RGCs by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). Unlike previous observations in the rat, transplantation of hMGSC-derived RGCs into the feline vitreous formed aggregates and elicited a severe inflammatory response without improving visual function. In contrast, allogeneic transplantation of feline MGSC (fMGSC)-derived RGCs into the vitrectomized eye improved the scotopic threshold response (STR) of the electroretinogram (ERG). Despite causing functional improvement, the cells did not attach onto the retina and formed aggregates on peripheral vitreous remnants, suggesting that vitreous may constitute a barrier for cell attachment onto the retina. This was confirmed by observations that cellular scaffolds of compressed collagen and enriched preparations of fMGSC-derived RGCs facilitated cell attachment. Although cells did not migrate into the RGC layer or the optic nerve, they significantly improved the STR and the photopic negative response of the ERG, indicative of increased RGC function. These results suggest that MGSCs have a neuroprotective ability that promotes partial recovery of impaired RGC function and indicate that cell attachment onto the retina may be necessary for transplanted cells to confer neuroprotection to the retina. Significance: Müller glia with stem cell characteristics are present in the adult human retina, but they do not have regenerative ability. These cells, however, have potential for
Nowak, Przemyslaw; Dobbins, Allan C.; Gawne, Timothy J.; Grzywacz, Norberto M.
The ganglion cell output of the retina constitutes a bottleneck in sensory processing in that ganglion cells must encode multiple stimulus parameters in their responses. Here we investigate encoding strategies of On-Off directionally selective retinal ganglion cells (On-Off DS RGCs) in rabbits, a class of cells dedicated to representing motion. The exquisite axial discrimination of these cells to preferred vs. null direction motion is well documented: it is invariant with respect to speed, contrast, spatial configuration, spatial frequency, and motion extent. However, these cells have broad direction tuning curves and their responses also vary as a function of other parameters such as speed and contrast. In this study, we examined whether the variation in responses across multiple stimulus parameters is systematic, that is the same for all cells, and separable, such that the response to a stimulus is a product of the effects of each stimulus parameter alone. We extracellularly recorded single On-Off DS RGCs in a superfused eyecup preparation while stimulating them with moving bars. We found that spike count responses of these cells scaled as independent functions of direction, speed, and luminance. Moreover, the speed and luminance functions were common across the whole sample of cells. Based on these findings, we developed a model that accurately predicted responses of On-Off DS RGCs as products of separable functions of direction, speed, and luminance (r = 0.98; P < 0.0001). Such a multiplicatively separable encoding strategy may simplify the decoding of these cells' outputs by the higher visual centers. PMID:21325684
Nork, T M
PURPOSE: First, to study the cellular mechanisms of acquired color vision loss in retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy. Second, to learn why, in glaucoma, the type of color vision deficit that is observed is more characteristic of a retinal injury than it is of an optic neuropathy. Third, to test a hypothesis of photoreceptor-induced, ganglion cell death in glaucoma. METHODS: Various histologic techniques were employed to distinguish the L/M-cones (long/medium wavelength-sensitive cones, or red/green sensitive cones) from the S-cones (short wavelength-sensitive cones, or blue sensitive cones) in humans and monkeys with retinal detachment, humans with diabetic retinopathy, and both humans and monkeys with glaucoma. To test if the photoreceptors were contributing to ganglion cell death, laser photocoagulation was used in a experimental model of glaucoma to focally eliminate the photoreceptors. As a control, optic nerve transection was done following retinal laser photocoagulation in one animal. RESULTS: Selective and widespread loss of the S-cones was found in retinal detachment as well as diabetic retinopathy. By contrast, in human as well as experimental glaucoma, marked swelling of the L/M-cones was the predominant histopathologic feature. Retinal laser photocoagulation followed by experimental glaucoma resulted in selective protection of ganglion cells overlying the laser spots. This was not seen with retinal laser photocoagulation by optic nerve transection. CONCLUSIONS: In retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy, acquired tritan-like color vision loss could be caused, or contributed to, by selective loss of the S-cones. Both L- and M-cones are affected in glaucoma, which is also consistent with a tritan-like deficit. Although not a therapeutic option, protection of ganglion cells by retinal laser in experimental glaucoma is consistent with an hypothesis of anterograde, photoreceptor-induced, ganglion cell death. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3
Martínez-Moreno, Carlos G; Ávila-Mendoza, José; Wu, Yilun; Arellanes-Licea, Elvira Del Carmen; Louie, Marcela; Luna, Maricela; Arámburo, Carlos; Harvey, Steve
Retinal growth hormone (GH) has been shown to promote cell survival in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) during developmental waves of apoptosis during chicken embryonic development. The possibility that it might also against excitotoxicity-induced cell death was therefore examined in the present study, which utilized quail-derived QNR/D cells as an in vitro RGC model. QNR/D cell death was induced by glutamate in the presence of BSO (buthionine sulfoxamide) (an enhancer of oxidative stress), but this was significantly reduced (P<0.01) in the presence of exogenous recombinant chicken GH (rcGH). Similarly, QNR/D cells that had been prior transfected with a GH plasmid to overexpress secreted and non-secreted GH. This treatment reduced the number of TUNEL-labeled cells and blocked their release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). In a further experiment with dissected neuroretinal explants from ED (embryonic day) 10 embryos, rcGH treatment of the explants also reduced (P<0.01) the number of glutamate-BSO-induced apoptotic cells and blocked the explant release of LDH. This neuroprotective action was likely mediated by increased STAT5 phosphorylation and increased bcl-2 production, as induced by exogenous rcGH treatment and the media from GH-overexpressing QNR/D cells. As rcGH treatment and GH-overexpression cells also increased the content of IGF-1 and IGF-1 mRNA this neuroprotective action of GH is likely to be mediated, at least partially, through an IGF-1 mechanism. This possibility is supported by the fact that the siRNA knockdown of GH or IGF-1 significantly reduced QNR/D cell viability, as did the immunoneutralization of IGF-1. GH is therefore neuroprotective against excitotoxicity-induced RGC cell death by anti-apoptotic actions involving IGF-1 stimulation.
Yuan, Jing; Yu, Jian-Xiong
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells can reduce retinal ganglion cell death and effectively prevent vision loss. Previously, we found that during differentiation, female rhesus monkey bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells acquire a higher neurogenic potential compared with male rhesus monkey bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. This suggests that female bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells have a stronger neuroprotective effect than male bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Here, we first isolated and cultured bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells from female and male rats by density gradient centrifugation. Retinal tissue from newborn rats was prepared by enzymatic digestion to obtain primary retinal ganglion cells. Using the transwell system, retinal ganglion cells were co-cultured with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells under hypoxia. Cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry and caspase-3 activity assay. We found a marked increase in apoptotic rate and caspase-3 activity of retinal ganglion cells after 24 hours of hypoxia compared with normoxia. Moreover, apoptotic rate and caspase-3 activity of retinal ganglion cells significantly decreased with both female and male bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell co-culture under hypoxia compared with culture alone, with more significant effects from female bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Our results indicate that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells exert a neuroprotective effect against hypoxia-induced apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells, and also that female cells have greater neuroprotective ability compared with male cells.
Fleming, Thomas; Martínez-Moreno, Carlos G; Mora, Janeth; Aizouki, Miray; Luna, Maricela; Arámburo, Carlos; Harvey, Steve
In the chicken embryo, GH gene expression occurs in the neural retina and retinal GH promotes cell survival and induces axonal growth of retinal ganglion cells. Neuroretinal GH is therefore of functional importance before the appearance of somatotrophs and the onset of pituitary GH secretion to the peripheral plasma (at ED15-17). Endocrine actions of pituitary GH in the development and function of the chicken embryo eye are, however, unknown. This possibility has therefore been investigated in ED15 embryos and using the quail neuroretinal derived cell line (QNR/D). During this research, we studied for the first time, the coexistence of exogenous (endocrine) and local GH (autocrine/paracrine) in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). In ovo systemic injections of Cy3-labeled GH demonstrated that GH in the embryo bloodstream was translocated into the neural retina and internalized into RGC's. Pituitary GH may therefore be functionally involved in retinal development during late embryogenesis. Cy3-labelled GH was similarly internalized into QNR/D cells after its addition into incubation media. The uptake of exogenous GH was by a receptor-mediated mechanism and maximal after 30-60min. The exogenous (endocrine) GH induced STAT5 phosphorylation and increased growth associated protein 43 (GAP43) and SNAP-25 immunoreactivity. Ex ovo intravitreal injections of Cy3-GH in ED12 embryos resulted in GH internalization and STAT5 activation. Interestingly, the CY3-labeled GH accumulated in perinuclear regions of the QNR/D cells, but was not found in the cytoplasm of neurite outgrowths, in which endogenous retinal GH is located. This suggests that exogenous (endocrine) and local (autocrine/paracrine) GH are both involved in retinal function in late embryogenesis but they co-exist in separate intracellular compartments within retinal ganglion cells.
Jiang, Shao-Yun; Wang, Jian-Tao
Timing of cell fate commitment determines distinct retinal cell types, which is believed to be controlled by a tightly coordinated regulatory program of proliferation, cell cycle exit and differentiation. Although homeobox protein Msx2 could induce apoptosis of optic vesicle, it is unclear whether Msx2 regulates differentiation and cell fate commitment of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). In this study, we show that overexpression of Msx2 transiently suppressed the expression of Cyclin D1 and blocked cell proliferation. Meanwhile, overexpression of Msx2 delayed the expression of RGC-specific differentiation markers (Math5 and Brn3b), which showed that Msx2 could affect the timing of RGCs fate commitment and differentiation by delaying the timing of cell cycle exit of retinal progenitors. These results indicate Msx2 possesses dual regulatory functions in controlling cell cycle progression of retinal RPCs and timing of RGCs differentiation.
Rossi, Ethan A.; Granger, Charles E.; Yang, Qiang; Saito, Kenichi; Schwarz, Christina; Walters, Sarah; Nozato, Koji; Zhang, Jie; Kawakami, Tomoaki; Fischer, William; Latchney, Lisa R.; Hunter, Jennifer J.; Chung, Mina M.; Williams, David R.
Although imaging of the living retina with adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) provides microscopic access to individual cells, such as photoreceptors, retinal pigment epithelial cells, and blood cells in the retinal vasculature, other important cell classes, such as retinal ganglion cells, have proven much more challenging to image. The near transparency of inner retinal cells is advantageous for vision, as light must pass through them to reach the photoreceptors, but it has prevented them from being directly imaged in vivo. Here we show that the individual somas of neurons within the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) layer can be imaged with a modification of confocal AOSLO, in both monkeys and humans. Human images of RGC layer neurons did not match the quality of monkey images for several reasons, including safety concerns that limited the light levels permissible for human imaging. We also show that the same technique applied to the photoreceptor layer can resolve ambiguity about cone survival in age-related macular degeneration. The capability to noninvasively image RGC layer neurons in the living eye may one day allow for a better understanding of diseases, such as glaucoma, and accelerate the development of therapeutic strategies that aim to protect these cells. This method may also prove useful for imaging other structures, such as neurons in the brain. PMID:28049835
Baden, Tom; Schaeffel, Frank; Berens, Philipp
A recent study describes a mouse neuron projecting from the retina to the brain that exhibits exquisitely high sensitivity to high spatial frequency patterns presented over an unusually large receptive field: could this cell be a (de)focus detector?
Inzunza, O; Bravo, H; Smith, R L; Angel, M
The topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells and their cell body size have been studied in five Falconiform species, including predatory (chilean eagle Buteo fuscenses australis, and sparrow hawk Falco sparverius) and carrion-eating (chimango caracara Milvago chimango; condor Vultur gryphus, and black vulture Coragyps atratus) birds. All these species had a well defined nasal fovea and a horizontal streak. Instead of a temporal fovea as in eagles and hawks, an afoveate temporal area is present in chimango, condor, and vulture. The highest ganglion cell density was found in the nasal fovea of Falco and Buteo with 65,000 and 62,000 cells/mm2, respectively. A negative correlation between ganglion cell density and cell body size was found in all the species studied. The specializations of the temporal retina showed a rather homogenous population of medium sized neurons, while the nasal foveas showed a homogeneous population of smaller ganglion cells. Finally, the peripheral retina showed a heterogeneous population of large, medium, and small ganglion cells. Predatory behavior appears to be closely related to foveal specializations, and is best exemplified in the eagle and hawk and to a lesser extent in the chimango.
Guo, Caiwei; Sun, Yu; Liao, Tiffany; Beattie, Ursula; López, Francisco J.; Chen, Dong Feng; Lashkari, Kameran
We have previously characterized human neuronal progenitor cells (hNP) that can adopt a retinal ganglion cell (RGC)-like morphology within the RGC and nerve fiber layers of the retina. In an effort to determine whether hNPs could be used a candidate cells for targeted delivery of neurotrophic factors (NTFs), we evaluated whether hNPs transfected with an vector that expresses IGF-1 in the form of a fusion protein with tdTomato (TD), would increase RGC survival in vitro and confer neuroprotective effects in a mouse model of glaucoma. RGCs co-cultured with hNPIGF-TD cells displayed enhanced survival, and increased neurite extension and branching as compared to hNPTD or untransfected hNP cells. Application of various IGF-1 signaling blockers or IGF-1 receptor antagonists abrogated these effects. In vivo, using a model of glaucoma we showed that IOP elevation led to reductions in retinal RGC count. In this model, evaluation of retinal flatmounts and optic nerve cross sections indicated that only hNPIGF-TD cells effectively reduced RGC death and showed a trend to improve optic nerve axonal loss. RT-PCR analysis of retina lysates over time showed that the neurotrophic effects of IGF-1 were also attributed to down-regulation of inflammatory and to some extent, angiogenic pathways. This study shows that neuronal progenitor cells that hone into the RGC and nerve fiber layers may be used as vehicles for local production and delivery of a desired NTF. Transplantation of hNPIGF-TD cells improves RGC survival in vitro and protects against RGC loss in a rodent model of glaucoma. Our findings have provided experimental evidence and form the basis for applying cell-based strategies for local delivery of NTFs into the retina. Application of cell-based delivery may be extended to other disease conditions beyond glaucoma. PMID:25923430
Behrend, Matthew R; Ahuja, Ashish K; Humayun, Mark S; Weiland, James D; Chow, Robert H
Here we present a retrograde loading technique that makes it possible for the first time to rapidly load a calcium indicator in the majority of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in salamander retina, and then to observe physiological activity of these dye-loaded cells. Dextran-conjugated calcium indicator, dissolved in water, was applied to the optic nerve stump. Following dye loading, the isolated retina was mounted on a microelectrode array to demonstrate that electrical activity and calcium activity were preserved, as the retina responded to electrical stimuli.
Henderson, Dori; Miller, Robert F
We examined the functional properties of a low-voltage-activated (LVA) calcium current in ganglion cells of the neotenous tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) retina. Our analysis was based on whole-cell recordings from acutely dissociated ganglion cell bodies identified by retrograde dye injections. Using a continuously perfused cell preparation, the LVA current was isolated with the use of potassium channel blocking agents added to the bathing medium and the pipette solution, while tetrodotoxin was added to the bathing medium to block Na+ channels. Approximately 70% of ganglion cells had an easily identified LVA current. The LVA current activated at membrane potentials more positive than -90 mV, and inactivated rapidly. It was relatively insensitive to nickel (IC50 > 500 microM) and amiloride (IC50 > 750 microM). Voltage- and current-clamp studies allowed us to generate a model of this current using the NEURON simulation program. Studies were also carried out to measure the LVA Ca2+ current in ganglion cells with dendrites to confirm that it had a significant dendritic representation. Physiological mechanisms that may depend on LVA Ca2+ currents are discussed with an emphasis on the role that dendrites play in ganglion cell function.
Heritier, J.-M.; Fouquet, J. E.; Siegman, A. E.
A photoacoustic cell has been developed in the form of an elliptical cylinder in which essentially all the acoustic energy generated by a laser beam passing down one axis is focused onto a cylindrical acoustic tranducer located along the other axis. Preliminary measurements on a liquid-filled cell of this design show high sensitivity and a notably clean impulse response. A similar design may be useful for photoacoustic measurements in vapors as well.
Vila, Alejandro; Huynh, Uyen-Chi N.; Brecha, Nicholas C.
Purpose To characterize cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) expression in the retina of the thy1-CFP (B6.Cg-Tg(Thy1-CFP)23Jrs/J) transgenic mouse line. Methods CFP expression was characterized using morphometric methods and immunohistochemistry with antibodies to neurofilament light (NF-L), neuronal nuclei (NeuN), POU-domain protein (Brn3a) and calretinin, which immunolabel ganglion cells, and syntaxin 1 (HPC-1), glutamate decarboxylase 67 (GAD67), GABA plasma membrane transporter-1 (GAT-1), and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), which immunolabel amacrine cells. Results CFP was extensively expressed in the inner retina, primarily in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), nerve fiber layer, and optic nerve. CFP fluorescent cell bodies were in all retinal regions and their processes ramified in all laminae of the IPL. Some small, weakly CFP fluorescent somata were in the inner nuclear layer (INL). CFP-containing somata in the GCL ranged from 6 to 20 μm in diameter, and they had a density of 2636±347 cells/mm2 at 1.5 mm from the optic nerve head. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated colocalization of CFP with the ganglion cell markers NF-L, NeuN, Brn3a, and calretinin. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies to HPC-1, GAD67, GAT-1, and ChAT indicated that the small, weakly fluorescent CFP cells in the INL and GCL were cholinergic amacrine cells. Conclusions The total number and density of CFP-fluorescent cells in the GCL were within the range of previous estimates of the total number of ganglion cells in the C57BL/6J line. Together these findings suggest that most ganglion cells in the thy1-CFP mouse line 23 express CFP. In conclusion, the thy1-CFP mouse line is highly useful for studies requiring the identification of ganglion cells. PMID:18728756
Cowan, Cameron S.; Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad; van der Heijden, Meike; Lo, Eric M.; Paul, David; Bramblett, Debra E.; Lem, Janis; Simons, David L.; Wu, Samuel M.
Rod pathways are a parallel set of synaptic connections which enable night vision by relaying and processing rod photoreceptor light responses. We use dim light stimuli to isolate rod pathway contributions to downstream light responses then characterize these contributions in knockout mice lacking rod transducin-α (Trα), or certain pathway components associated with subsets of rod pathways. These comparisons reveal that rod pathway driven light sensitivity in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is entirely dependent on Trα, but partially independent of connexin 36 (Cx36) and rod bipolar cells. Pharmacological experiments show that rod pathway-driven and Cx36-independent RGC ON responses are also metabotropic glutamate receptor 6-dependent. To validate the RGC findings in awake, behaving animals we measured optokinetic reflexes (OKRs), which are sensitive to changes in ON pathways. Scotopic OKR contrast sensitivity was lost in Trα−/− mice, but indistinguishable from controls in Cx36−/− and rod bipolar cell knockout mice. Mesopic OKRs were also altered in mutant mice: Trα−/− mice had decreased spatial acuity, rod BC knockouts had decreased sensitivity, and Cx36−/− mice had increased sensitivity. These results provide compelling evidence against the complete Cx36 or rod BC dependence of night vision's ON component. Further, the findings suggest the parallel nature of rod pathways provides considerable redundancy to scotopic light sensitivity but distinct contributions to mesopic responses through complicated interactions with cone pathways. PMID:26718442
Prasse, Martina; Rauscher, Franziska Georgia; Wiedemann, Peter; Reichenbach, Andreas; Francke, Mike
Many efforts have been made to improve the diagnostic tools used to identify and to estimate the progress of ganglion cell and nerve fibre degeneration in glaucoma. Imaging by optical coherence tomography and measurements of the dimensions of the optic nerve head and the nerve fibre layer in central retinal areas is currently used to estimate the grade of pathological changes. The visualization and quantification of ganglion cells and nerve fibres directly in patients would dramatically improve glaucoma diagnostics. We have investigated the optical properties of cellular structures of retinal tissue in order to establish a means of visualizing and quantifying ganglion cells in the living retina without staining. We have characterized the optical properties of retinal tissue in several species including humans. Nerve fibres, blood vessels, ganglion cells and their cell processes have been visualized at high image resolution by means of the reflection mode of a confocal laser scanning microscope. The potential of adaptive optics in current imaging systems and the possibilities of imaging single ganglion cells non-invasively in patients are discussed.
Jones, Ian L.; Russell, Thomas L.; Farrow, Karl; Fiscella, Michele; Franke, Felix; Müller, Jan; Jäckel, David; Hierlemann, Andreas
Knowledge of neuronal cell types in the mammalian retina is important for the understanding of human retinal disease and the advancement of sight-restoring technology, such as retinal prosthetic devices. A somewhat less utilized animal model for retinal research is the hamster, which has a visual system that is characterized by an area centralis and a wide visual field with a broad binocular component. The hamster retina is optimally suited for recording on the microelectrode array (MEA), because it intrinsically lies flat on the MEA surface and yields robust, large-amplitude signals. However, information in the literature about hamster retinal ganglion cell functional types is scarce. The goal of our work is to develop a method featuring a high-density (HD) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) MEA technology along with a sequence of standardized visual stimuli in order to categorize ganglion cells in isolated Syrian Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) retina. Since the HD-MEA is capable of recording at a higher spatial resolution than most MEA systems (17.5 μm electrode pitch), we were able to record from a large proportion of RGCs within a selected region. Secondly, we chose our stimuli so that they could be run during the experiment without intervention or computation steps. The visual stimulus set was designed to activate the receptive fields of most ganglion cells in parallel and to incorporate various visual features to which different cell types respond uniquely. Based on the ganglion cell responses, basic cell properties were determined: direction selectivity, speed tuning, width tuning, transience, and latency. These properties were clustered to identify ganglion cell types in the hamster retina. Ultimately, we recorded up to a cell density of 2780 cells/mm2 at 2 mm (42°) from the optic nerve head. Using five parameters extracted from the responses to visual stimuli, we obtained seven ganglion cell types. PMID:26528115
Jones, Ian L; Russell, Thomas L; Farrow, Karl; Fiscella, Michele; Franke, Felix; Müller, Jan; Jäckel, David; Hierlemann, Andreas
Knowledge of neuronal cell types in the mammalian retina is important for the understanding of human retinal disease and the advancement of sight-restoring technology, such as retinal prosthetic devices. A somewhat less utilized animal model for retinal research is the hamster, which has a visual system that is characterized by an area centralis and a wide visual field with a broad binocular component. The hamster retina is optimally suited for recording on the microelectrode array (MEA), because it intrinsically lies flat on the MEA surface and yields robust, large-amplitude signals. However, information in the literature about hamster retinal ganglion cell functional types is scarce. The goal of our work is to develop a method featuring a high-density (HD) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) MEA technology along with a sequence of standardized visual stimuli in order to categorize ganglion cells in isolated Syrian Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) retina. Since the HD-MEA is capable of recording at a higher spatial resolution than most MEA systems (17.5 μm electrode pitch), we were able to record from a large proportion of RGCs within a selected region. Secondly, we chose our stimuli so that they could be run during the experiment without intervention or computation steps. The visual stimulus set was designed to activate the receptive fields of most ganglion cells in parallel and to incorporate various visual features to which different cell types respond uniquely. Based on the ganglion cell responses, basic cell properties were determined: direction selectivity, speed tuning, width tuning, transience, and latency. These properties were clustered to identify ganglion cell types in the hamster retina. Ultimately, we recorded up to a cell density of 2780 cells/mm(2) at 2 mm (42°) from the optic nerve head. Using five parameters extracted from the responses to visual stimuli, we obtained seven ganglion cell types.
Palmgren, Björn; Jin, Zhe; Jiao, Yu; Kostyszyn, Beata; Olivius, Petri
At present severe damage to hair cells and sensory neurons in the inner ear results in non-treatable auditory disorders. Cell implantation is a potential treatment for various neurological disorders and has already been used in clinical practice. In the inner ear, delivery of therapeutic substances including neurotrophic factors and stem cells provide strategies that in the future may ameliorate or restore hearing impairment. In order to describe a surgical auditory nerve trunk approach, in the present paper we injected the neuronal tracer horseradish peroxidase (HRP) into the central part of the nerve by an intra cranial approach. We further evaluated the applicability of the present approach by implanting statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) cells into the same location of the auditory nerve in normal hearing rats or animals deafened by application of β-bungarotoxin to the round window niche. The HRP results illustrate labeling in the cochlear nucleus in the brain stem as well as peripherally in the spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea. The transplanted SAGs were observed within the auditory nerve trunk but no more peripheral than the CNS-PNS transitional zone. Interestingly, the auditory nerve injection did not impair auditory function, as evidenced by the auditory brainstem response. The present findings illustrate that an auditory nerve trunk approach may well access the entire auditory nerve and does not compromise auditory function. We suggest that such an approach might compose a suitable route for cell transplantation into this sensory cranial nerve.
Morillo, Sandra M.; Escoll, Pedro; de la Hera, Antonio; Frade, José M.
A subset of neurons in the normal vertebrate nervous system contains double the normal amount of DNA in their nuclei. These neurons are all thought to derive from aberrant mitoses in neuronal precursor cells. Here we show that endogenous NGF induces DNA replication in a subpopulation of differentiating chick retinal ganglion cells that express both the neurotrophin receptor p75 and the E2F1 transcription factor, but that lack the retinoblastoma protein. Many of these neurons avoid G2/M transition and remain alive in the retina as tetraploid cells with large cell somas and extensive dendritic trees, and most of them express β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits, a specific marker of retinal ganglion cells innervating lamina F in the stratum-griseum-et-fibrosum-superficiale of the tectal cortex. Tetraploid neurons were also observed in the adult mouse retina. Thus, a developmental program leading to somatic tetraploidy in specific retinal neurons exists in vertebrates. This program might occur in other vertebrate neurons during normal or pathological situations. PMID:20018664
Smodlaka, Hrvoje; Khamas, Wael A; Palmer, Lauren; Lui, Bryan; Borovac, Josip A; Cohn, Brian A; Schmitz, Lars
Northern elephant seals are one of the deepest diving marine mammals. As northern elephant seals often reach the bathypelagic zone, it is usually assumed that their eyes possess evolutionary adaptations that provide better ability to see in dim or scotopic environments. The purpose of this study was to carefully describe anatomical and histological traits of the eye that may improve light sensitivity. Northern elephant seals have large, somewhat elliptical eyes, with equatorial and anteroposterior diameters of 5.03 and 4.4 cm, respectively. The cornea is large in diameter and the lens is completely spherical. The iris has pronounced constrictor and dilator muscles, whereas the ciliary muscle is notably less developed. The tapetum lucidum is more prominent than in other pinnipeds, making up about 63% of retinal thickness in the posterior aspect of the globe. Within the retina, the pigmented epithelium lacks pigment except for the region close to the ora serrata. Parts of the photoreceptor and outer nuclear layers are folded. Although the photoreceptor layer is composed predominantly of rods, cone photoreceptors were also observed. Cells within the retinal ganglion cell layer are arranged in a single level. Ganglion cells reach their maximum density (∼1,300 cells per mm(2) ) dorsal to the optic disc, whereas the periphery of the retina is sparsely populated (<100 cells per mm(2) ). All above mentioned features are consistent with the predicted evolutionary adaptations to the photic environment of the bathypelagic zone. Anat Rec, 299:798-805, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Smith, Amena W.; Das, Arabinda; Guyton, M. Kelly; Ray, Swapan K.; Rohrer, Baerbel
Purpose. Optic neuritis (ON), inflammation of the optic nerve, is strongly associated with the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and is initiated by the attack of autoreactive T cells against self-myelin antigens, resulting in demyelination, degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), and cumulative visual impairment. Methods. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in Lewis rats on day 0, and animals received daily intraperitoneal injections of calpain inhibitor (calpeptin) or vehicle from day 1 until killed. Retinal cell death was analyzed by DNA fragmentation, and surviving ganglion cells were quantified after double labeling of retinal tissue with TUNEL and Brn3a. The expression of apoptotic and inflammatory proteins was determined by Western blotting. Results. It was demonstrated that calpain inhibition downregulates expression of proapoptotic proteins and the proinflammatory molecule nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in the retina of Lewis rats with acute EAE. Immunofluorescent labeling revealed that apoptotic cells in the RGC layer of vehicle-treated EAE animals were Brn3a positive, and a moderate dose of calpeptin dramatically reduced the frequency of apoptotic RGCs. Conclusions. These results suggest that calpain inhibition might be a useful supplement to immunomodulatory therapies such as corticosteroids in ON, due to its neuroprotective effect on RGCs. PMID:21613375
Pushchin, Igor; Karetin, Yuriy
We studied the morphology and diversity of retinal ganglion cells in the Pacific redfin, Tribolodon brandtii. These cells were retrogradely labeled with horseradish peroxidase and examined in retinal whole mounts. A sample of 203 cells was drawn with a camera lucida. A total of 19 structural parameters were estimated for each cell, and a variety of clustering algorithms were used to classify the cells. The optimal solution was determined by using silhouette analysis. It was based on three variables associated with dendritic field size and dendrite stratification in the retina. Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA-on-ranks with post hoc Mann-Whitney U tests showed significant pairwise between-cluster differences in two or more of the original variables. In total, eight cell types were discovered. The advantages and drawbacks of the methodology adopted are discussed. The present classification is compared with classifications proposed for other teleosts.
Johnson, Thomas V.; Oglesby, Ericka N.; Steinhart, Matthew R.; Cone-Kimball, Elizabeth; Jefferys, Joan; Quigley, Harry A.
Purpose To develop an ex vivo organotypic retinal explant culture system suitable for multiple time-point imaging of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) dendritic arbors over a period of 1 week, and capable of detecting dendrite neuroprotection conferred by experimental treatments. Methods Thy1-YFP mouse retinas were explanted and maintained in organotypic culture. Retinal ganglion cell dendritic arbors were imaged repeatedly using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Maximal projection z-stacks were traced by two masked investigators and dendritic fields were analyzed for characteristics including branch number, size, and complexity. One group of explants was treated with brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) added to the culture media. Changes in individual dendritic fields over time were detected using pair-wise comparison testing. Results Retinal ganglion cells in mouse retinal explant culture began to degenerate after 3 days with 52.4% surviving at 7 days. Dendritic field parameters showed minimal change over 8 hours in culture. Intra- and interobserver measurements of dendrite characteristics were strongly correlated (Spearman rank correlations consistently > 0.80). Statistically significant (P < 0.001) dendritic tree degeneration was detected following 7 days in culture including: 40% to 50% decreases in number of branch segments, number of junctions, number of terminal branches, and total branch length. Scholl analyses similarly demonstrated a significant decrease in dendritic field complexity. Treatment of explants with BDNF+CNTF significantly attenuated dendritic field degeneration. Conclusions Retinal explant culture of Thy1-YFP tissue provides a useful model for time-lapse imaging of RGC dendritic field degeneration over a course of several days, and is capable of detecting neuroprotective amelioration of dendritic pruning within individual RGCs. PMID:26811145
Cai, Changsi; Ren, Qiushi; Desai, Neal J.; Rizzo, Joseph F.
To improve the quality of prosthetic vision, it is important to understand how retinal neurons respond to electric stimulation. Previous studies present conflicting reports as to the maximum rate at which retinal ganglion cells can “follow” pulse trains, i.e., generate one spike for each pulse of the train. In the present study, we measured the response of 5 different types of rabbit retinal ganglion cells to pulse trains of 100–700 Hz. Surprisingly, we found significant heterogeneity in the ability of different types to follow pulse trains. For example, brisk transient (BT) ganglion cells could reliably follow pulse rates up to 600 pulses per second (PPS). In contrast, other types could not even follow rates of 200 PPS. There was additional heterogeneity in the response patterns across those types that could not follow high-rate trains. For example, some types generated action potentials in response to approximately every other pulse, whereas other types generated one spike per pulse for a few consecutive pulses and then did not generate any spikes in response to the next few pulses. Interestingly, in the types that could not follow high-rate trains, we found a second type of response: many pulses of the train elicited a biphasic waveform with an amplitude much smaller than that of standard action potentials. This small waveform was often observed following every pulse for which a standard spike was not elicited. A possible origin of the small waveform and its implication for effective retinal stimulation are discussed. PMID:21490287
Tomita, Hiroshi; Sugano, Eriko; Isago, Hitomi; Hiroi, Teru; Wang, Zhuo; Ohta, Emi; Tamai, Makoto
To test the hypothesis that transduction of the channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) gene, a microbial-type rhodopsin gene, into retinal ganglion cells of genetically blind rats will restore functional vision, we recorded visually evoked potentials and tested the experimental rats for the presence of optomotor responses. The N-terminal fragment of the ChR2 gene was fused to the fluorescent protein Venus and inserted into an adeno-associated virus to make AAV2-ChR2V. AAV2-ChR2V was injected intravitreally into the eyes of 6-month-old dystrophic RCS (rdy/rdy) rats. Visual function was evaluated six weeks after the injection by recording visually evoked potentials (VEPs) and testing optomotor responses. The expression of ChR2V in the retina was investigated histologically. We found that VEPs could not be recorded from 6-month-old dystrophic RCS rats that had not been injected with AAV2-ChR2V. In contrast, VEPs were elicited from RCS rats six weeks after injection with AAV2-ChR2V. The VEPs were recorded at stimulation rates <20Hz, which was the same as that of normal rats. Optomotor responses were also significantly better after the AAV2-ChR2V injection. Expression of ChR2V was observed mainly in the retinal ganglion cells. These findings demonstrate that visual function can be restored in blind rats by transducing the ChR2V gene into retinal ganglion cells.
Dolan, Tracy; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban
Birds that forage on the ground have been studied extensively in relation to behavioral trade-offs between foraging and scanning for predators; however, we know little about the topography of their retinas, which can influence how they gather visual information. We characterized the density of retinal ganglion cells across the retina and estimated visual acuity of four Passeriformes (European starling Sturnus vulgaris, brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater, house sparrow Passer domesticus, house finch Carpodacus mexicanus) and one Columbiforme (mourning dove Zenaida macroura) that forage on the ground. We used cresyl violet to stain retinal ganglion cells and estimated visual acuity based on cell density and eye size. All species contained a single area centralis, where cell densities were >20,000 cells/mm2. The proportion of the retina that fell in each of five cell density ranges varied between species. European starlings and house finches had the largest area of high cell density, mourning doves had the smallest. The largest proportion of the retina (>35%) of brown-headed cowbird and house sparrow was in the second-lowest cell density range. Considering the 25th percentile of highest cell densities, house finches and European starlings showed the highest cell densities and mourning doves the lowest. Estimated visual acuity increased from house finch, house sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, European starling to mourning dove, and was associated with both retinal area and cell density. Our findings suggest that these ground foragers do not have highly specialized retinas in relation to other types of foragers (e.g. tree foragers), probably because foraging on seeds and insects from the ground is not as visually demanding; however, the studied species showed variability in retinal topography that may be related to foraging techniques, eye size constraints, and size of the area centralis. PMID:20516656
Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Kerr, Nathan M; Zhang, Jie; Eady, Elizabeth K; O'Carroll, Simon J; Nicholson, Louise F B; Johnson, Cameron S; Green, Colin R
Connexin43 gap junction protein is expressed in astrocytes and the vascular endothelium in the central nervous system. It is upregulated following central nervous system injury and is recognized as playing an important role in modulating the extent of damage. Studies that have transiently blocked connexin43 in spinal cord injury and central nervous system epileptic models have reported neuronal rescue. The purpose of this study was to investigate neuronal rescue following retinal ischaemia-reperfusion by transiently blocking connexin43 activity using a connexin43 mimetic peptide. A further aim was to evaluate the effect of transiently blocking connexin43 on vascular permeability as this is known to increase following central nervous system ischaemia. Adult male Wistar rats were exposed to 60 min of retinal ischaemia. Treatment groups consisted of no treatment, connexin43 mimetic peptide and scrambled peptide. Retinas were then evaluated at 1-2, 4, 8 and 24 h, and 7 and 21 days post-ischaemia. Evans blue dye leak from retinal blood vessels was used to assess vascular leakage. Blood vessel integrity was examined using isolectin-B4 labelling. Connexin43 levels and astrocyte activation (glial fibrillary acidic protein) were assessed using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Retinal whole mounts and retinal ganglion cell counts were used to quantify neurodegeneration. An in vitro cell culture model of endothelial cell ischaemia was used to assess the effect of connexin43 mimetic peptide on endothelial cell survival and connexin43 hemichannel opening using propidium iodide dye uptake. We found that retinal ischaemia-reperfusion induced significant vascular leakage and disruption at 1-2, 4 and 24 h following injury with a peak at 4 h. Connexin43 immunoreactivity was significantly increased at 1-2, 4, 8 and 24 h post ischaemia-reperfusion injury co-localizing with activated astrocytes, Muller cells and vascular endothelial cells. Connexin43 mimetic peptide
Cui, Q.; Ren, C.; Sollars, P. J.; Pickard, G. E.; So, K.-F.
Neurons in the mammalian retina expressing the photopigment melanopsin have been identified as a class of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). This discovery more than a decade ago has opened up an exciting new field of retinal research, and following the initial identification of photosensitive ganglion cells, several subtypes have been described. A number of studies have shown that ipRGCs subserve photoentrainment of circadian rhythms. They also influence other non-image forming functions of the visual system, such as the pupillary light reflex, sleep, cognition, mood, light aversion and development of the retina. These novel photosensitive neurons also influence form vision by contributing to contrast detection. Furthermore, studies have shown that ipRGCs are more injury-resistant following optic nerve injury, in animal models of glaucoma, and in patients with mitochondrial optic neuropathies, i.e., Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy and dominant optic atrophy. There is also an indication that these cells may be resistant to glutamate-induced excitotoxicity. Herein we provide an overview of ipRGCs and discuss the injury-resistant character of these neurons under certain pathological and experimental conditions. PMID:25446359
Sodhi, Puneet; Hartwick, Andrew T E
Melanopsin-dependent phototransduction in intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) involves a Gq-coupled phospholipase C (PLC) signaling cascade. Acetylcholine, released in the mammalian retina by starburst amacrine cells, can also activate Gq-PLC pathways through certain muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). Using multielectrode array recordings of rat retinas, we demonstrate that robust spiking responses can be evoked in neonatal and adult ipRGCs after bath application of the muscarinic agonist carbachol. The stimulatory action of carbachol on ipRGCs was a direct effect, as confirmed through calcium imaging experiments on isolated ipRGCs in purified cultures. Using flickering (6 Hz) yellow light stimuli at irradiances below the threshold for melanopsin activation, spiking responses could be elicited in ipRGCs that were suppressed by mAChR antagonism. Therefore, this work identified a novel melanopsin-independent pathway for stimulating sustained spiking in ganglion cell photoreceptors. This mAChR-mediated pathway could enhance ipRGC spiking responses in conditions known to evoke retinal acetylcholine release, such as those involving flickering or moving visual stimuli. Furthermore, this work identifies a pharmacological approach for light-independent ipRGC stimulation that could be targeted by mAChR agonists.
Rodriguez, Allen R.; de Sevilla Müller, Luis Pérez; Brecha, Nicholas C.
There are few neurochemical markers that reliably identify retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which are a heterogeneous population of cells that integrate and transmit the visual signal from the retina to the central visual nuclei. We have developed and characterized a new set of affinity purified guinea pig and rabbit antibodies against RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS). On Western blots these antibodies recognize a single band at ~24 kDa, corresponding to RBPMS, and they strongly label RGC and displaced RGC (dRGC) somata in mouse, rat, guinea pig, rabbit and monkey retina. RBPMS immunoreactive cells and RGCs identified by other techniques have a similar range of somal diameters and areas. The density of RBPMS cells in mouse and rat retina is comparable to earlier semi-quantitative estimates of RGCs. RBPMS is mainly expressed in medium and large DAPI-, DRAQ5-, NeuroTrace- and NeuN-stained cells in the ganglion cell layer (GCL), and RBPMS is not expressed in syntaxin (HPC-1) immunoreactive cells in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and GCL, consistent with their identity as RGCs, and not displaced amacrine cells. In mouse and rat retina, most RBPMS cells are lost following optic nerve crush or transection at three weeks, and all Brn3a, SMI-32 and melanopsin immunoreactive RGCs also express RBPMS immunoreactivity. RBPMS immunoreactivity is localized to CFP-fluorescent RGCs in the B6.Cg-Tg(Thy1-CFP)23Jrs/J mouse line. These findings show that antibodies against RBPMS are robust reagents that exclusively identify RGCs and dRGCs in multiple mammalian species, and they will be especially useful for quantification of RGCs. PMID:24318667
Barron, K D; Dentinger, M P; Krohel, G; Easton, S K; Mankes, R
Rat retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL) was examined ultrastructurally 1-180 days after intraorbital crushing of one optic nerve. It was confirmed quantitatively that axotomized ganglion cells lost cisternal membranes of the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and showed disintegration of Nissl bodies and ribosomal rosettes 3 days postoperatively. Between 60 and 180 days after neurotomy there was partial reversion of the RER towards normal. At postoperative intervals of 14-60 days, chromatin aggregation became conspicuous and some nuclei were prominently furrowed and contained electron-dense inclusions. Concurrently, profiles of dead ganglion cells were encountered. Mean mitochondrial area increased in axotomized neurons but mitochondrial density declined, while the Golgi apparatus, lamellar specializations of the RER and the size of nuclei did not change significantly. Cytoplasmic atrophy was profound, however. Small nerve cells of the GCL appeared morphologically distinct from ganglion cells and did not undergo appreciable alteration. A decline in neuronal density, approximating 35%, occurred between the third and seventh postoperative day and progressed slowly thereafter. Neuronal density was 32% of normal 180 days postoperatively. A temporary increase in glial density 3-28 days after operation was due to microglial hyperplasia. Müller cell and astrocytic processes hypertrophied, infiltrated nerve fibre bundles, and surrounded and intruded into neuronal somata. Bundles of unmyelinated small axons, invested by astrocytes and basal lamina, were present within the necrotic cavity of the lesioned nerve 28-90 days postoperatively and had cytologic features of regenerative axonal sprouts. We conclude that intraorbital optic nerve crush is followed by a noteworthy degree of regenerative axonal sprouting which occurs and persists against a background of slow but relentless decline in the retinal ganglion cell population. This slow decline follows a rapidly-sustained loss
de Almeida-Leite, Camila Megale; Arantes, Rosa Maria Esteves
Central nervous system glial cells as astrocytes and microglia have been investigated in vitro and many intracellular pathways have been clarified upon various stimuli. Peripheral glial cells, however, are not as deeply investigated in vitro despite its importance role in inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Based on our previous experience of culturing neuronal cells, our objective was to standardize and morphologically characterize a primary culture of mouse superior cervical ganglion glial cells in order to obtain a useful tool to study peripheral glial cell biology. Superior cervical ganglia from neonatal C57BL6 mice were enzymatically and mechanically dissociated and cells were plated on diluted Matrigel coated wells in a final concentration of 10,000cells/well. Five to 8 days post plating, glial cell cultures were fixed for morphological and immunocytochemical characterization. Glial cells showed a flat and irregular shape, two or three long cytoplasm processes, and round, oval or long shaped nuclei, with regular outline. Cell proliferation and mitosis were detected both qualitative and quantitatively. Glial cells were able to maintain their phenotype in our culture model including immunoreactivity against glial cell marker GFAP. This is the first description of immunocytochemical characterization of mouse sympathetic cervical ganglion glial cells in primary culture. This work discusses the uses and limitations of our model as a tool to study many aspects of peripheral glial cell biology.
Wagner, Lysann; Warwick, Rebekah A; Pannicke, Thomas; Reichenbach, Andreas; Grosche, Antje; Hanani, Menachem
It has been proposed that glutamate serves as a mediator between neurons and satellite glial cells (SGCs) in sensory ganglia and that SGCs release glutamate. Using a novel method, we studied glutamate release from SGCs from murine trigeminal ganglia. Sensory neurons with adhering SGCs were enzymatically isolated from wild type and transgenic mice in which vesicular exocytosis was suppressed in glial cells. Extracellular glutamate was detected by microfluorimetry. After loading the cells with a photolabile Ca(2+) chelator, the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was raised in SGCs by a UV pulse, which resulted in glutamate release. The amount of released glutamate was decreased in cells with suppressed exocytosis and after pharmacological block of hemichannels. The data demonstrate that SGCs of the trigeminal ganglion release glutamate in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner.
Park, Kyoung Ho; Yeo, Sang Won; Troy, Frederic A.
Highlights: • PolySia expressed on neurons primarily during early stages of neuronal development. • PolySia–NCAM is expressed on neural stem cells from adult guinea pig spiral ganglion. • PolySia is a biomarker that modulates neuronal differentiation in inner ear stem cells. - Abstract: During brain development, polysialylated (polySia) neural cell adhesion molecules (polySia–NCAMs) modulate cell–cell adhesive interactions involved in synaptogenesis, neural plasticity, myelination, and neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation. Our findings show that polySia–NCAM is expressed on NSC isolated from adult guinea pig spiral ganglion (GPSG), and in neurons and Schwann cells after differentiation of the NSC with epidermal, glia, fibroblast growth factors (GFs) and neurotrophins. These differentiated cells were immunoreactive with mAb’s to polySia, NCAM, β-III tubulin, nestin, S-100 and stained with BrdU. NSC could regenerate and be differentiated into neurons and Schwann cells. We conclude: (1) polySia is expressed on NSC isolated from adult GPSG and on neurons and Schwann cells differentiated from these NSC; (2) polySia is expressed on neurons primarily during the early stage of neuronal development and is expressed on Schwann cells at points of cell–cell contact; (3) polySia is a functional biomarker that modulates neuronal differentiation in inner ear stem cells. These new findings suggest that replacement of defective cells in the inner ear of hearing impaired patients using adult spiral ganglion neurons may offer potential hope to improve the quality of life for patients with auditory dysfunction and impaired hearing disorders.
Edwards, F R; Hirst, G D; Klemm, M F; Steele, P A
1. Intracellular recordings were made from the parasympathetic ganglion cells that lie in the epicardium of the left atrium of guinea-pig heart near the interatrial septum. 2. Three distinct types of neurone were identified on the basis of their electrophysiological properties. In one group of neurones, S cells, somatic action potentials were followed by brief after-hyperpolarizations. In the other two sets of neurones, somatic action potentials were followed by prolonged after-hyperpolarizations. The neurones with prominent after-hyperpolarization were further subdivided: one group of neurones, P cells, showed inward rectification at membrane potentials near the resting membrane potential whilst neurones in the other group, SAH cells, did so only at more negative potentials. 3. In the group of neurones that displayed inward rectification at potentials near rest, rectification resulted from the activation of an inward current, which resembled the hyperpolarization-activated inward current present in cardiac muscle pacemaker cells. 4. The three different types of neurone received different patterns of synaptic input. Each SAH cell received a synaptic excitatory connection from the vagus which in most cells released sufficient transmitter to initiate an action potential in that cell; several SAH cells also received a separate connection, which could be activated by local stimulation. Although most S cells failed to receive a synaptic input from the vagus, all of those tested received an excitatory synaptic input which could be activated by local stimulation. Virtually all P cells failed to receive a synaptic input from the vagus; in addition, local stimulation failed to initiate synaptic potentials in P cells. 5. When the structure of cardiac ganglion cells was determined, by loading the cells with either biocytin or neurobiotin, it was found that most cells lacked extensive dendritic processes. S cells were invariably monopolar, most P cells were dipolar or
Park, Kyoung Ho; Yeo, Sang Won; Troy, Frederic A
During brain development, polysialylated (polySia) neural cell adhesion molecules (polySia-NCAMs) modulate cell-cell adhesive interactions involved in synaptogenesis, neural plasticity, myelination, and neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation. Our findings show that polySia-NCAM is expressed on NSC isolated from adult guinea pig spiral ganglion (GPSG), and in neurons and Schwann cells after differentiation of the NSC with epidermal, glia, fibroblast growth factors (GFs) and neurotrophins. These differentiated cells were immunoreactive with mAb's to polySia, NCAM, β-III tubulin, nestin, S-100 and stained with BrdU. NSC could regenerate and be differentiated into neurons and Schwann cells. We conclude: (1) polySia is expressed on NSC isolated from adult GPSG and on neurons and Schwann cells differentiated from these NSC; (2) polySia is expressed on neurons primarily during the early stage of neuronal development and is expressed on Schwann cells at points of cell-cell contact; (3) polySia is a functional biomarker that modulates neuronal differentiation in inner ear stem cells. These new findings suggest that replacement of defective cells in the inner ear of hearing impaired patients using adult spiral ganglion neurons may offer potential hope to improve the quality of life for patients with auditory dysfunction and impaired hearing disorders.
Lees, G.M.; Wallis, D.I.
1 The mechanisms underlying the hyperpolarization which follows depolarization of rabbit superior cervical ganglion cells by acetylcholine, have been investigated and compared with the mechanisms responsible for the hyperpolarizations induced by orthodromic stimulation of the ganglion. 2 The amplitude of the drug-induced hyperpolarization (after-hyperpolarization) was diminished when [Na+]0 and the duration of the preceding depolarization were reduced. 3 In K+-free solutions, the amplitude of the after-hyperpolarization was often diminished and its rate of development was reduced. In 12.5 mM K+-Krebs solutions, the amplitude and rate of development of the after-hyperpolarization were increased; the potential was still present when the resting potential was at or close to EK. 4 Ouabain (10 μM) prevented or greatly diminished the after-hyperpolarization. The rates of onset and decay of the after-hyperpolarization were reduced in glucose-free solutions. 5 It is, therefore, concluded that the after-hypolarization is due to the activity of an electrogenic sodium pump. 6 The positive after-potential associated with the ganglionic action potential was increased in K+-free solutions and diminished when the resting potential approached EK, indicating that it is due to a period of increased K+ conductance. In the presence of high concentrations of hexamethonium (276 μM), the P wave was not selectively depressed by ouabain and has been shown by other workers to be due to a mechanism not involving an increased potassium conductance. It is concluded, therefore, that the positive after-potential, the P wave and the after-hyperpolarization are due to different mechanisms. PMID:4823465
Jeng, J; Tang, S; Molnar, A; Desai, N J; Fried, S I
To improve the quality of prosthetic vision, it is desirable to understand how targeted retinal neurons respond to stimulation. Unfortunately, the factors that shape the response of a single neuron to stimulation are not well understood. A dense band of voltage gated sodium channels within the proximal axon of retinal ganglion cells is the site most sensitive to electric stimulation, suggesting that band properties are likely to influence the response to stimulation. Here, we examined how three band properties influence sensitivity using a morphologically realistic ganglion cell model in NEURON. Longer bands were more sensitive to short-duration pulses than shorter bands and increasing the distance between band and soma also increased sensitivity. Simulations using the known limits of band length and location resulted in a sensitivity difference of approximately two. Additional simulations tested how changes to sodium channel conductance within the band influenced threshold and found that the sensitivity difference increased to a factor of nearly three. This is close to the factor of 5 difference measured in physiological studies suggesting that band properties contribute significantly to the sensitivity differences found between different types of retinal neurons. PMID:21558602
Hansen, M R; Vijapurkar, U; Koland, J G; Green, S H
To investigate the role of neuron-glial cell interactions in the auditory nerve, we asked whether spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) express neuregulin and whether neuregulin regulates proliferation and/or neurotrophin expression in spiral ganglion Schwann cells (SGSCs). Using immunocytochemistry, we found that type I and type II SGNs express neuregulin in vivo and in vitro. Cultured SGSCs express the neuregulin receptors ErbB2 and ErbB3, but not ErbB4. Neuregulin activates ErbB2 and ErbB3 in cultured SGSCs, evidenced by increased tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptors following neuregulin treatment. Neuregulin treatment increased the proliferation rate of cultured SGSCs by 2.5-fold. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) also increased SGSC proliferation. The mitogenic effect of neuregulin and FGF-2 was blocked by inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling but not by inhibition of phosphatidylinositol-3'-OH kinase. Using RT-PCR, we found that cultured SGSCs express neurotrophins, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), raising the possibility that SGSCs contribute to the trophic support of SGNs. Treatment with neither neuregulin nor TGF-beta increased neurotrophin expression in cultured SGSCs, as had been observed in developing sympathetic ganglia, but appeared to negatively regulate NT-3 expression. Thus, neuregulin and neurotrophins may mediate reciprocal neuron-glial interactions in the auditory nerve.
Wang, Lei; Qiu, Yi-Hong; Zeng, Yanjun
As the sole output neurons in the retina, ganglion cells play significant roles in transforming visual information into spike trains, and then transmitting them to the higher visual centers. However, coding strategies that retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) adopt to accomplish these processes are not completely clear yet. To clarify these issues, we investigate the coding properties of three types of RGCs (repetitive spiking, tonic firing, and phasic firing) by two different measures (spike-rate and spike-latency). Model results show that for periodic stimuli, repetitive spiking RGC and tonic RGC exhibit similar spike-rate patterns. Their spike- rates decrease gradually with increased stimulus frequency, moreover, variation of stimulus amplitude would change the two RGCs' spike-rate patterns. For phasic RGC, it activates strongly at medium levels of frequency when the stimulus amplitude is low. While if high stimulus amplitude is applied, phasic RGC switches to respond strongly at low frequencies. These results suggest that stimulus amplitude is a prominent factor in regulating RGCs in encoding periodic signals. Similar conclusions can be drawn when analyzes spike-latency patterns of the three RGCs. More importantly, the above phenomena can be accurately reproduced by Hodgkin's three classes of neurons, indicating that RGCs can perform the typical three classes of firing dynamics, depending on the distinctions of ion channel densities. Consequently, model results from the three RGCs may be not specific, but can also applicable to neurons in other brain regions which exhibit part(s) or all of the Hodgkin's three excitabilities. PMID:27721751
Jeng, J.; Tang, S.; Molnar, A.; Desai, N. J.; Fried, S. I.
To improve the quality of prosthetic vision, it is desirable to understand how targeted retinal neurons respond to stimulation. Unfortunately, the factors that shape the response of a single neuron to stimulation are not well understood. A dense band of voltage-gated sodium channels within the proximal axon of retinal ganglion cells is the site most sensitive to electric stimulation, suggesting that band properties are likely to influence the response to stimulation. Here, we examined how three band properties influence sensitivity using a morphologically realistic ganglion cell model in NEURON. Longer bands were more sensitive to short-duration pulses than shorter bands and increasing the distance between band and soma also increased sensitivity. Simulations using the known limits of band length and location resulted in a sensitivity difference of approximately 2. Additional simulations tested how changes to sodium channel conductance within the band influenced threshold and found that the sensitivity difference increased to a factor of nearly 3. This is close to the factor of 5 difference measured in physiological studies suggesting that band properties contribute significantly to the sensitivity differences found between different types of retinal neurons.
Dijk, Frederike; Bergen, Arthur A B; Kamphuis, Willem
In response to injury, the adult mammalian retina shows signs of structural remodeling, possibly in an attempt to preserve or regain some of its functional neural connections. In order to study the mechanisms involved in injury-induced plasticity, we have studied changes in growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43) after retinal ischemia/reperfusion in the rat. GAP-43 is a marker for neuronal remodeling and is involved in synapse formation. Ischemic injury of the rat retina was induced by 60 min of ischemia followed by reperfusion times varying from 2h up to 4 weeks. GAP-43 mRNA levels were significantly increased between 12h and 72 h reperfusion with a peak around 24h. GAP-43 specific antibodies showed that the total amount of GAP-43 labeling in the inner plexiform layer was diminished after 12h of reperfusion by approximately 35% and remained at this level up to 1 week postischemia despite the reduction in thickness of this layer during this period resulting from the ischemia-induced cell loss. At 2 and 4 weeks reperfusion, the amount of labeling was reduced by 70%, simultaneously with a decrease of GAP-43 transcript level. Between 72 h up to 2 weeks postischemia, the induction of intense GAP-43 labeling was observed in NeuN- and beta-tubulin-positive ganglion cell somata and in horizontally and vertically oriented processes in the inner plexiform layer. Ischemia also induced GAP-43 expression in some GFAP-positive Müller cells. Double-labeling showed that in controls and after ischemia GAP-43 was expressed by some amacrine cells of the glycinergic (glycine transporter 1), calretinin-positive, and dopaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase) subpopulations. No increase of GAP-43 expression levels was found in these amacrine cells. The results demonstrate that ganglion cells show an elevated expression of GAP-43 after ischemia-inflicted damage. These findings suggest a temporal window during which ganglion cells may remodel their neuronal network in the damaged retina.
Muguruma, Kaori; Takei, Shiro; Yamamoto, Naoyuki
Topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells (GCs) is linked with the visual capabilities and behavioral ecology of vertebrates. Studies on the distribution of different types of GCs, however, have been conducted in only a few species of elasmobranchs. In the present study, the distribution and peak cell density of GCs, and spatial resolving power (SRP) were examined in the Japanese catshark, Scyliorhinus torazame. Distinct populations of GCs were identified in the ganglion cell layer of S. torazame based on soma size: small and large GCs, which showed different spatial distribution patterns. A horizontal streak of high cell density was recognized in the dorsal retina for small GCs. The highest cell density occurred within the streak, and the peak SRPs of the three fish investigated in the present study were 2.32, 2.64, and 3.01 cycles/deg. In contrast, two spots of high cell density, or areae gigantocellulares, were identified for large GCs, one in the temporal and the other in the nasal retina. The highest cell density occurred in the temporal or nasal area gigantocellularis (SRP: 1.36, 1.55 and 1.83 cycles/deg). This is the first study reporting an elasmobranch species with a horizontal visual streak of small GCs and two areae gigantocellulares. The horizontal streak of small GCs in the dorsal retina, which serves for the inferior visual field, is likely important for food search on the bottom, and the areae gigantocellulares may be important to the detection of prey and/or predators approaching from the front or behind the catshark.
Iturriaga, Rodrigo; Alcayaga, Julio
The carotid body (CB) is the main arterial chemoreceptor. The most accepted model of arterial chemoreception postulates that carotid body glomus (type I) cells are the primary receptors, which are synaptically connected to the nerve terminals of petrosal ganglion (PG) neurons. In response to natural stimuli, glomus cells are expected to release one (or more) transmitter(s) which, acting on the peripheral nerve terminals of processes from chemosensory petrosal neurons, increases the sensory discharge. Among several molecules present in glomus cells, acetylcholine and adenosine nucleotides and dopamine are considered as excitatory transmitter candidates. In this review, we will examine recent evidence supporting the notion that acetylcholine and adenosine 5'-triphosphate are the main excitatory transmitters in the cat and rat carotid bodies. On the other hand, dopamine may act as a modulator of the chemoreception process in the cat, but as an excitatory transmitter in the rabbit carotid body.
Ecker, Jennifer L.; Dumitrescu, Olivia N.; Wong, Kwoon Y.; Alam, Nazia M.; Chen, Shih-Kuo; LeGates, Tara; Renna, Jordan M.; Prusky, Glen T.; Berson, David M.; Hattar, Samer
Using the photopigment melanopsin, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) respond directly to light to drive circadian clock resetting and pupillary constriction. We now report that ipRGCs are more abundant and diverse than previously appreciated, project more widely within the brain, and can support spatial visual perception. A Cre-based melanopsin reporter mouse line revealed at least five subtypes of ipRGCs with distinct morphological and physiological characteristics. Collectively, these cells project beyond the known brain targets of ipRGCs to heavily innervate the superior colliculus and dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus, retinotopically-organized nuclei mediating object localization and discrimination. Mice lacking classical rod-cone photoreception, and thus entirely dependent on melanopsin for light detection, were able to discriminate grating stimuli from equiluminant gray, and had measurable visual acuity. Thus, non-classical retinal photoreception occurs within diverse cell types, and influences circuits and functions encompassing luminance as well as spatial information. PMID:20624591
Longeac, M; Lapeyre, M; Delbet Dupas, C; Barthélémy, I; Pham Dang, N
Basal cell carcinomas with symptomatic perineural invasion are rare entities. We report the case of a 60year-old man (with a grafted kidney), surgically treated in 2007 for a sclerodermiform basal cell carcinoma infiltrating the left nostril. Five years later, a painful left hemifacial hypoesthesia associated with an ulcus rodens of the nasolabial fold appeared. A biopsy confirmed a recurrence. MRI showed an enhancement of the trigeminal ganglion. The patient had a trigeminal perineural invasion secondary to a cutaneous basal cell carcinoma. He received a local intensity-modulated radiotherapy alone (70Gy in 33 sessions), administered from the skin tumour to the skull base. Three years after the end of treatment, the patient is in radiological and clinical remission, with partial recovery of the hypoesthesia. Evolution was marked by iterative corneal ulcers and decreased visual acuity. Modalities of treatment by surgery and/or radiation therapy and complications are poorly described in the literature.
Pang, Ji-Jie; Paul, David L.; Wu, Samuel M.
Purpose. Retinal amacrine cells (ACs) may make inhibitory chemical synapses and potentially excitatory gap junctions on ganglion cells (GCs). The total number and subtypes of ACs coupled to the entire GC population were investigated in wild-type and three lines of transgenic mice. Methods. GCs and GC-coupled ACs were identified by the previously established LY-NB (Lucifer yellow–Neurobiotin) retrograde double-labeling technique, in conjunction with specific antibodies and confocal microscopy. Results. GC-coupled ACs (NB-positive and LY-negative) comprised nearly 11% of displaced ACs and 4% of conventional ACs in wild-type mice, and were 9% and 4% of displaced ACs in Cx45−/− and Cx36/45−/− mice, respectively. Their somas were small in Cx36/45−/− mice, but variable in other strains. They were mostly γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive (IR) and located in the GC layer. They comprised only a small portion in the AC subpopulations, including GABA-IR, glycine-IR, calretinin-IR, 5-HT-accumulating, and ON-type choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) ACs in wild-type and ChAT transgenic mice (ChAT- tdTomato). In the distal 80% of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), dense GC dendrites coexisted with rich glycine-IR and GABA-IR. In the inner 20% of the IPL, sparse GC dendrites presented with a major GABA band and sparse glycine-IR. Conclusions. Various subtypes of ACs may couple to GCs. ACs of the same immunoreactivity may either couple or not couple to GCs. Cx36 and Cx45 dominate GC-AC coupling except for small ACs. The overall potency of GC-AC coupling is moderate, especially in the proximal 20% of the IPL, where inhibitory chemical signals are dominated by GABA ACs. PMID:23821205
Buldyrev, Ilya; Puthussery, Theresa; Taylor, W Rowland
Different types of retinal ganglion cells represent distinct spatiotemporal filters that respond selectively to specific features in the visual input. Much about the circuitry and synaptic mechanisms that underlie such specificity remains to be determined. This study examines how N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling combines with other excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms to shape the output of small-field OFF brisk-sustained ganglion cells (OFF-BSGCs) in the rabbit retina. We used voltage clamp to separately resolve NMDA, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), and inhibitory inputs elicited by stimulation of the receptive field center. Three converging circuits were identified. First is a direct glutamatergic input, arising from OFF cone bipolar cells (CBCs), which is mediated by synaptic NMDA and AMPA receptors. The NMDA input was saturated at 10% contrast, whereas the AMPA input increased monotonically up to 60% contrast. We propose that NMDA inputs selectively enhance sensitivity to low contrasts. The OFF bipolar cells, mediating this direct excitatory input, express dendritic kainate (KA) receptors, which are resistant to the nonselective AMPA/KA receptor antagonist, 2,3-dioxo-6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydrobenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide disodium salt (NBQX), but are suppressed by a GluK1- and GluK3-selective antagonist, (S)-1-(2-amino-2-carboxyethyl)-3-(2-carboxy-thiophene-3-yl-methyl)-5-methylpyrimidine-2,4-dione (UBP-310). The second circuit entails glycinergic crossover inhibition, arising from ON-CBCs and mediated by AII amacrine cells, which modulate glutamate release from the OFF-CBC terminals. The third circuit also comprises glycinergic crossover inhibition, which is driven by the ON pathway; however, this inhibition impinges directly on the OFF-BSGCs and is mediated by an unknown glycinergic amacrine cell that expresses AMPA but not KA receptors.
Taylor, Linnéa; Arnér, Karin; Ghosh, Fredrik
Signaling through the polymodal cation channel Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) has been implicated in retinal neuronal degeneration. To further outline the involvement of this channel in this process, we here explore modulation of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) activity on neuronal health and glial activation in an in vitro model of retinal degeneration. For this purpose, adult porcine retinal explants were cultured using a previously established standard protocol for up to 5 days with specific TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A (GSK), or specific antagonist RN-1734, or culture medium only. Glial and neuronal cell health were evaluated by a battery of immunohistochemical markers, as well as morphological staining. Specific inhibition of TRPV4 by RN-1734 significantly enhanced ganglion cell survival, improved the maintenance of the retinal laminar architecture, reduced apoptotic cell death and attenuated the gliotic response as well as preserved the expression of TRPV4 in the plexiform layers and ganglion cells. In contrast, culture controls, as well as specimens treated with GSK, displayed rapid remodeling and neurodegeneration as well as a downregulation of TRPV4 and the Müller cell homeostatic mediator glutamine synthetase. Our results indicate that TRPV4 signaling is an important contributor to the retinal degeneration in this model, affecting neuronal cell health and glial homeostasis. The finding that pharmacological inhibition of the receptor significantly attenuates neuronal degeneration and gliosis in vitro, suggests that TRPV4 signaling may be an interesting pharmaceutical target to explore for treatment of retinal degenerative disease.
Tauck, D L; Frosch, M P; Lipton, S A
Ganglion cells were fluorescently labeled, dissociated from 7- to 11-day-old rodent retinas, and placed in tissue culture. Whole-cell recordings with patch electrodes were obtained from solitary cells lacking processes, which permitted a high-quality space clamp. Both GABA (1-200 microM) and glycine (10-300 microM) produced large increases in membrane conductance in virtually every ganglion cell tested, including ganglion cells from different size classes in both rats and mice. Taurine evoked responses similar to those of glycine, but considerably greater concentrations of taurine (150-300 microM) were necessary to observe any effect. Since 20 microM GABA produced approximately the same response as 100 microM glycine, the effects of these two concentrations were compared under various conditions. When recording with chloride distributed equally across the membrane, the reversal potential of the agonist-induced currents was approximately 0 mV. When the internal chloride was reduced by substitution with aspartate, the reversal potential shifted in a negative direction by about 42 mV, indicating that the current was carried mainly by chloride ions. Strychnine (1-5 microM) completely and reversibly blocked the actions of glycine (100 microM) but not those of GABA (20 microM); however, higher concentrations of strychnine (20 microM) nearly totally inhibited the current elicited by GABA (20 microM). The responses to glycine (100 microM) were not affected by bicuculline methiodide (20 microM) or picrotoxinin (20 microM). In contrast, bicuculline methiodide (10 microM) and picrotoxinin (10 microM) reversibly blocked the current evoked by GABA (20 microM); d-tubocurarine (100 microM) only slightly decreased the response to GABA (20 microM). The antagonists were effective over a wide range of holding potentials (-90 mV to +30 mV). The responses to a steady application of both GABA and glycine decayed in a few seconds when recorded under conditions of both symmetric and
MILLER, J.A.; DENNING, K.S.; GEORGE, J.S.; MARSHAK, D.W.; KENYON, G.T.
Brisk Y-type ganglion cells in the cat retina exhibit a high frequency resonance (HFR) in their responses to large, rapidly modulated stimuli. We used a computer model to test whether negative feedback mediated by axon-bearing amacrine cells onto ganglion cells could account for the experimentally observed properties of HFRs. Temporal modulation transfer functions (tMTFs) recorded from model ganglion cells exhibited HFR peaks whose amplitude, width, and locations were qualitatively consistent with experimental data. Moreover, the wide spatial distribution of axon-mediated feedback accounted for the observed increase in HFR amplitude with stimulus size. Model phase plots were qualitatively similar to those recorded from Y ganglion cells, including an anomalous phase advance that in our model coincided with the amplification of low-order harmonics that overlapped the HFR peak. When axon-mediated feedback in the model was directed primarily to bipolar cells, whose synaptic output was graded, or else when the model was replaced with a simple cascade of linear filters, it was possible to produce large HFR peaks but the region of anomalous phase advance was always eliminated, suggesting the critical involvement of strongly non-linear feedback loops. To investigate whether HFRs might contribute to visual processing, we simulated high frequency ocular tremor by rapidly modulating a naturalistic image. Visual signals riding on top of the imposed jitter conveyed an enhanced representation of large objects. We conclude that by amplifying responses to ocular tremor, HFRs may selectively enhance the processing of large image features. PMID:17020633
Li, Sixing; Guo, Feng; Chen, Yuchao; Ding, Xiaoyun; Li, Peng; Wang, Lin; Cameron, Craig E; Huang, Tony Jun
Precise reconstruction of heterotypic cell-cell interactions in vitro requires the coculture of different cell types in a highly controlled manner. In this article, we report a standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW)-based cell coculture platform. In our approach, different types of cells are patterned sequentially in the SSAW field to form an organized cell coculture. To validate our platform, we demonstrate a coculture of epithelial cancer cells and endothelial cells. Real-time monitoring of cell migration dynamics reveals increased cancer cell mobility when cancer cells are cocultured with endothelial cells. Our SSAW-based cell coculture platform has the advantages of contactless cell manipulation, high biocompatibility, high controllability, simplicity, and minimal interference of the cellular microenvironment. The SSAW technique demonstrated here can be a valuable analytical tool for various biological studies involving heterotypic cell-cell interactions.
Liu, Ruixing; Wang, Yanling; Pu, Mingliang
Purpose This study was conducted to determine whether alpha lipoic acid (ALA) promotes the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a rat model of optic nerve crush (ONC) injury and to investigate the neuroprotective mechanisms of ALA in the retina in this ONC injury model. Methods Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (180–220 g) were subjected to ONC injury surgery. ALA (63 mg/kg) was injected intravenously 1 day before or after the ONC injury. Animals were euthanized after 10 days, and the number of ganglion cells positive for RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (Rbpms), which is an RGC marker, were counted on the whole mount retinas. In addition, immunofluorescence and immunoblotting were performed to examine the localization and levels of erythropoietin receptor (EPOR) and neurotrophin-4/5 (NT4/5) in the retinas in all experimental groups. To determine whether the EPO/EPOR signaling pathway was involved in the ALA antioxidant pathway, the rats were subjected to ruxolitinib (INCB018424, 0.25 mg/kg, bid, intraperitoneal, i.p.) treatment after the animals were injected intravenously with ALA 1 day before ONC injury. Results The average number of Rbpms-positive cells/mm2 in the control group (sham-operated group), the ONC group, the ALA-ONC group, and the ONC-ALA group retinas was 2219±28, 418±8, 848±22, and 613±18/mm2, respectively. The ALA-ONC and ONC-ALA groups showed a statistically significantly increased RGC survival rate compared to the ONC group. There were statistical differences in the RGC survival rates between the ALA-ONC (39%) and ONC-ALA groups (28%; p<0.05). Immunofluorescent labeling showed that EPOR and NT4/5 expression was significant in the retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL). At the same time, western blot analysis revealed that ALA induced upregulation of EPOR protein and NT4/5 protein expression in the retina after ONC injury. However, INCB018424 reversed the protective effects of ALA on the ONC retinas. Conclusions ALA has
Mao, Chai-An; Tsai, Wen-Wei; Cho, Jang-Hyeon; Pan, Ping; Barton, Michelle Craig; Klein, William H.
As neuronal progenitors differentiate into neurons, they acquire a unique set of transcription factors. The transcriptional repressor REST prevents progenitors from undergoing differentiation. Notably, REST binding sites are often associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) genes whose expression in the retina is positively controlled by Atoh7, a factor essential for RGC formation. The key regulators that enable a retinal progenitor cell (RPC) to commit to an RGC fate have not been identified. We show here that REST suppresses RGC gene expression in RPCs. REST inactivation causes aberrant expression of RGC transcription factors in proliferating RPCs, independent of Atoh7, resulting in increased RGC formation. Strikingly, inactivating REST in Atoh7-null retinas restores transcription factor expression, which partially activates downstream RGC genes but is insufficient to prevent RGC loss. Our results demonstrate an Atoh7-independent program for initial activation of RGC genes and suggest a novel role for REST in preventing premature expression in RPCs. PMID:20969844
Schmidt, Tiffany M.; Kofuji, Paulo
A subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) expresses the photopigment melanopsin, rendering these cells intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs). These cells are critical for competent circadian entrainment, pupillary light reflex, and other non-image-forming photic responses. Research has now demonstrated the presence of multiple subpopulations of ipRGC based on the dendritic stratification in the inner plexiform layer (IPL), those monostratified in the Off sublamina (M1), those monostratified in the On sublamina (M2,4,5), and those bistratified in both the On and Off sublaminas (M3). Despite evidence that M1 and M2 cells are distinct subpopulations of ipRGC based on distinct morphological and physiological properties, the inclusion of M3 cells as a distinct subtype has remained controversial. Aside from the identification of M3 cells as a morphological subpopulation of ipRGC, to date there have been no functional descriptions of M3 cell physiology or synaptic inputs. Our data provide the first in-depth description of M3 cell structural and functional properties. We report that M3 cells form a morphologically heterogeneous population, but one that is physiologically homogeneous with properties similar to those of M2 cells. PMID:21452206
Raymon, H K; Thode, S; Zhou, J; Friedman, G C; Pardinas, J R; Barrere, C; Johnson, R M; Sah, D W
A renewable source of human sensory neurons would greatly facilitate basic research and drug development. We had established previously conditionally immortalized human CNS cell lines that can differentiate into functional neurons (). We report here the development of an immortalized human dorsal root ganglion (DRG) clonal cell line, HD10.6, with a tetracycline-regulatable v-myc oncogene. In the proliferative condition, HD10.6 cells have a doubling time of 1.2 d and exhibit a neuronal precursor morphology. After differentiation of clone HD10.6 for 7 d in the presence of tetracycline, v-myc expression was suppressed, and >50% of the cells exhibited typical neuronal morphology, stained positively for neuronal cytoskeletal markers, and fired action potentials in response to current injection. Furthermore, this cell line was fate-restricted to a neuronal phenotype; even in culture conditions that promote Schwann cell or smooth muscle differentiation of neural crest stem cells, HD10.6 differentiated exclusively into neurons. Moreover, differentiated HD10.6 cells expressed sensory neuron-associated transcription factors and exhibited capsaicin sensitivity. Taken together, these data indicate that we have established an immortalized human DRG cell line that can differentiate into sensory neurons with nociceptive properties. The cell line HD10.6 represents the first example of a human sensory neuronal line and will be valuable for basic research, as well as for the discovery of novel drug targets and clinical candidates.
Werginz, P.; Fried, S. I.; Rattay, F.
Electric stimulation using retinal implants allows blind people to re-experience a rudimentary kind of vision. The elicited percepts or so called ’phosphenes’ are highly inconstant and therefore do not restore vision properly. The better knowledge of how retinal neurons, especially retinal ganglion cells, respond to electric stimulation will help to develop more sophisticated stimulation strategies. Special anatomic and physiologic properties like a band of highly dense sodium channels in retinal ganglion cells may help to achieve a focal activation of target cells and as a result better restoration of vision. A portion of retinal ganglion cell axons, about 40 μm from the soma and between 25 and 40μm in length, shows a specific biophysical property. Electrode locations close to a band of highly dense sodium channels which was identified immunochemically show lowest thresholds during electric stimulation. The (modeled) thresholds for this kind of structure result in lowest thresholds as well. The influence on the location where action potentials are generated within the axon is far reaching. When a stimulating electrode is positioned far outside the actual band region the site of spike initiation still remains within the sodium channel band. These findings suggest to further examine the key mechanisms of activation for retinal ganglion cells because focal activation without influencing passing axons of neurons located far away can improve the outcome of electric stimulation and therefore the development of retinal implants. PMID:24560986
Milikan, J M; Bolsover, S R
We have used fluorescently labelled calmodulins to probe the activity of calmodulin in living dorsal root ganglion cells. Calmodulin labelled with the fluorophore 5-([4,6 dichlorotriazin-2yl]amino)-fluorescein (FL-CaM) does not change its fluorescence when it binds calcium, while calmodulin labelled at lysine 75 with 2-chloro-(6-(4-N,N-diethylamino-phenyl)-1,4,5-triazin-4-yl (TA-CaM), an environment-sensitive probe, increases its fluorescence when it binds calcium. We micro-injected FL-CaM or TA-CaM into rat dorsal root ganglion cells and found that both probes localise to the cell nucleus. In contrast, endogenous cellular calmodulin, in dorsal root ganglion cells as in hippocampal neurones, is predominantly cytosolic unless the neurones are depolarised, then it moves to the nucleus. FL-CaM and TA-CaM, introduced into dorsal root ganglion cells via a patch pipette, also immediately move to the nucleus, indicating that the nuclear localisation is a property of the labelled calmodulins. Although the subcellular distribution of FL-CaM and TA-CaM does not necessarily match that of endogenous calmodulin, we show that FL-CaM can be used as a control for TA-CaM when studying calmodulin activation in different cellular compartments.
Coimbra, João Paulo; Collin, Shaun P; Hart, Nathan S
Cockatoos are a unique avian group inhabiting a diversity of arboreal and terrestrial microhabitats. Most species display strong lateralized visual behaviors using their left eye/foot to assist with food manipulation during foraging. In this study, we used retinal wholemounts and stereological methods to investigate whether the topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells in cockatoos reflects their lateralized behaviors and microhabitat diversity. We found that all species studied possess a horizontal visual streak and a shallow central fovea that afford increased spatial resolution in the lateral visual field. Arboreal cockatoos have a well-defined dorsotemporal area, in contrast to terrestrial cockatoos, in which this specialization is inconspicuous or absent. Terrestrial cockatoos also have a triangular extension of increased ganglion cell density directed toward the dorsotemporal retinal periphery. Both the dorsotemporal area and the triangular extension enhance spatial resolution in the frontal and inferior visual fields, which potentially assists with binocular coordination during foraging. We found significantly higher ganglion cell densities in the left (52,000-72,000 cells/mm2) compared with the right (42,500-50,000 cells/mm2) perifoveal region of species that have strong left eye-left foot lateralized behaviors. In contrast, cockatoo species that show no lateralized behaviors have equivalent retinal ganglion cell densities in both left and right perifoveal regions (42,500-52,500 cells/mm2). Retinal ganglion cell peak densities in the dorsotemporal area showed no significant difference between left and right eyes for any species, suggesting that cockatoos use both eyes to extract information in the binocular visual field, independent of the degree of lateralization.
Discharges of 223 retinal ganglion cells during spontaneous eye movements (saccades) across a stationary grating pattern were studied in chronically prepared cats. Of these 83 showed sustained responses to local differences in luminance of the grating stripes (S-units); 84 showed transient responses to saccades and did not register local differences in luminance (T-units); and 56 showed mixed responses, i.e., transient responses to saccades and sustained firings in response to local luminance (M-units). When tested with diffuse light, 93.9% of the S-units showed either ON-sustained or OFF-sustained responses; 95.2% of the T-units showed either ON-transient, OFF-transient, or ON-OFF-transient responses; and 50% of the M-units showed ON-OFF responses. In the overall responses properties, most S-units corresponded to the X-cells, most T-units to the Y-cells of retinal ganglion cells previously known from acute experiments. Under normal conditions of active eye movements, the major function of the S-units would be to register the differences in luminance in their receptive fields, and subserve the mechansim of form recognition. The major function of the T-units would be to register information related to quick image motion, induced either by eye or object movements, and subserve the mechanism of detecting the dynamic aspects of visual stimuli. The other important functions of the T-units are their possible participation in the afferent routes for two recently proposed mechanisms; one for goal-directed saccades and the other for saccadic suppression. The M-units would possess the functions of both S- and T-units.
Wu, Samuel M.
Purpose. To examine the specificity and reliability of a retrograde double-labeling technique that was recently established for identification of retinal ganglion cells (GCs) and to characterize the morphology of displaced (d)GCs (dGs). Methods. A mixture of the gap-junction–impermeable dye Lucifer yellow (LY) and the permeable dye neurobiotin (NB) was applied to the optic nerve stump for retrograde labeling of GCs and the cells coupled with them. A confocal microscope was adopted for morphologic observation. Results. GCs were identified by LY labeling, and they were all clearly labeled by NB. Cells coupled to GCs contained a weak NB signal but no LY. LY and NB revealed axon bundles, somas and dendrites of GCs. The retrogradely identified GCs numbered approximately 50,000 per retina, and they constituted 44% of the total neurons in the ganglion cell layer (GCL). Somas of retrogradely identified dGs were usually negative for glycine, ChAT (choline acetyltransferase), bNOS (brain-type nitric oxidase), GAD (glutamate decarboxylase), and glial markers, and occasionally, they were weakly GABA-positive. dGs averaged 760 per retina and composed 1.7% of total GCs. Sixteen morphologic subtypes of dGs were encountered, three of which were distinct from known GCs. dGs sent dendrites to either sublaminas of the IPL, mostly sublamina a. Conclusions. The retrograde labeling is reliable for identification of GCs. dGs participate in ON and OFF light pathways but favor the OFF pathway. ChAT, bNOS, glycine, and GAD remain reliable AC markers in the GCL. GCs may couple to GABAergic ACs, and the gap junctions likely pass NB and GABA. PMID:21482641
Muguruma, Kaori; Stell, William K; Yamamoto, Naoyuki
Retinal ganglion cells (GCs) in the Japanese catshark Scyliorhinus torazame were labeled retrogradely with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA3000). First the labeled cells were classified into 5 morphological types (types I-III: small GCs; types IV and V: large GCs) according to the size of the soma and the dendritic arborization pattern as seen in retinal wholemounts. Type I cells were stellate, with dendrites radiating in different directions. Type II cells had bipolar dendritic trees, with 2 primary dendrites extending in opposite directions. Type III cells had a single thick primary dendrite. Type IV cells were stellate, with dendrites covering a large area centered on the cell body. Type V cells were asymmetric, with most dendrites extending opposite to the axon as a large, fan-shaped dendritic field. Subsequently a wholemount was cross-sectioned, and we classified cells further into multiple subtypes according to the level of dendritic arborization within the inner plexiform layer. The present results suggest the existence of many types of GCs in elasmobranchs in addition to the 3 types of large GCs that have been characterized previously. Some of the newly described GC subtypes in the catshark retina appear to be similar to some of those reported in actinopterygians.
Vogt, Daniel; Wu, Pei-Rung; Sorrells, Shawn F.; Arnold, Christine; Alvarez-Buylla, Arturo; Rubenstein, John L. R.
GABAergic cortical interneurons, derived from the embryonic medial and caudal ganglionic eminences (MGE and CGE), are functionally and morphologically diverse. Inroads have been made in understanding the roles of distinct cortical interneuron subgroups, however, there are still many mechanisms to be worked out that may contribute to the development and maturation of different types of GABAergic cells. Moreover, altered GABAergic signaling may contribute to phenotypes of autism, schizophrenia and epilepsy. Specific Cre-driver lines have begun to parcel out the functions of unique interneuron subgroups. Despite the advances in mouse models, it is often difficult to efficiently study GABAergic cortical interneuron progenitors with molecular approaches in vivo. One important technique used to study the cell autonomous programming of these cells is transplantation of MGE cells into host cortices. These transplanted cells migrate extensively, differentiate, and functionally integrate. In addition, MGE cells can be efficiently transduced with lentivirus immediately prior to transplantation, allowing for a multitude of molecular approaches. Here we detail a protocol to efficiently transduce MGE cells before transplantation for in vivo analysis, using available Cre-driver lines and Cre-dependent expression vectors. This approach is advantageous because it combines precise genetic manipulation with the ability of these cells to disperse after transplantation, permitting greater cell-type specific resolution in vivo. PMID:25938985
Precise reconstruction of heterotypic cell–cell interactions in vitro requires the coculture of different cell types in a highly controlled manner. In this article, we report a standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW)-based cell coculture platform. In our approach, different types of cells are patterned sequentially in the SSAW field to form an organized cell coculture. To validate our platform, we demonstrate a coculture of epithelial cancer cells and endothelial cells. Real-time monitoring of cell migration dynamics reveals increased cancer cell mobility when cancer cells are cocultured with endothelial cells. Our SSAW-based cell coculture platform has the advantages of contactless cell manipulation, high biocompatibility, high controllability, simplicity, and minimal interference of the cellular microenvironment. The SSAW technique demonstrated here can be a valuable analytical tool for various biological studies involving heterotypic cell–cell interactions. PMID:25232648
Liao, Hsi‐Wen; Ren, Xiaozhi; Peterson, Beth B.; Marshak, David W.; Yau, King‐Wai; Gamlin, Paul D.
ABSTRACT The long‐term goal of this research is to understand how retinal ganglion cells that express the photopigment melanopsin, also known as OPN4, contribute to vision in humans and other primates. Here we report the results of anatomical studies using our polyclonal antibody specifically against human melanopsin that confirm and extend previous descriptions of melanopsin cells in primates. In macaque and human retina, two distinct populations of melanopsin cells were identified based on dendritic stratification in either the inner or the outer portion of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Variation in dendritic field size and cell density with eccentricity was confirmed, and dendritic spines, a new feature of melanopsin cells, were described. The spines were the sites of input from DB6 diffuse bipolar cell axon terminals to the inner stratifying type of melanopsin cells. The outer stratifying melanopsin type received inputs from DB6 bipolar cells via a sparse outer axonal arbor. Outer stratifying melanopsin cells also received inputs from axon terminals of dopaminergic amacrine cells. On the outer stratifying melanopsin cells, ribbon synapses from bipolar cells and conventional synapses from amacrine cells were identified in electron microscopic immunolabeling experiments. Both inner and outer stratifying melanopsin cell types were retrogradely labeled following tracer injection in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). In addition, a method for targeting melanopsin cells for intracellular injection using their intrinsic fluorescence was developed. This technique was used to demonstrate that melanopsin cells were tracer coupled to amacrine cells and would be applicable to electrophysiological experiments in the future. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2845–2872, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Journal of Comparative Neurology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26972791
Lynch, J J; Eskin, T A; Merigan, W H
Selective degeneration of retinal ganglion cells projecting to parvocellular layers of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) was observed in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) exposed to a range of doses of acrylamide monomer. Similar acrylamide-induced neuronal loss has previously been reported in parvocellular-projecting ganglion cells of macaques, but no such selective degeneration has been found in acrylamide-dosed rats, squirrels, rabbits or cats. The extent of ganglion cell loss observed in the present study suggests that in the squirrel monkey, as in the macaque, a majority of ganglion cells project to parvocellular layers of the LGN. The locus of optic tract degeneration suggests that the squirrel monkey parvocellular pathway passes in dorsolateral optic tract, as does that of the macaque. Patterns of decreases in cytochrome oxidase activity confirm that, in both of these primates, geniculocortical pathways driven by these vulnerable neurons project to cortical layers 4A and 4C beta. These results suggest close parallels in the neuroanatomical projections and toxic vulnerability of the parvocellular-projecting pathway in New and Old World monkeys. They indicate that acrylamide intoxication can be used to selectively damage this pathway in order to study the functional roles of parallel visual pathways in both New and Old World monkeys.
Xie, Yuliang; Nama, Nitesh; Li, Peng; Mao, Zhangming; Huang, Po-Hsun; Zhao, Chenglong; Costanzo, Francesco; Huang, Tony Jun
An acoustically actuated, bubble-based technique is developed to investigate the deformability of cells suspended in microfluidic devices. A microsized bubble is generated by an optothermal effect near the targeted cells, which are suspended in a microfluidic chamber. Subsequently, acoustic actuation is employed to create localized acoustic streaming. In turn, the streaming flow results in hydrodynamic forces that deform the cells in situ. The deformability of the cells is indicative of their mechanical properties. The method in this study measures mechanical biomarkers from multiple cells in a single experiment, and it can be conveniently integrated with other bioanalysis and drug-screening platforms. Using this technique, the mean deformability of tens of HeLa, HEK, and HUVEC cells is measured to distinguish their mechanical properties. HeLa cells are deformed upon treatment with Cytochalasin. The technique also reveals the deformability of each subpopulation in a mixed, heterogeneous cell sample by the use of both fluorescent markers and mechanical biomarkers. The technique in this study, apart from being relevant to cell biology, will also enable biophysical cellular diagnosis. PMID:26715211
Abreu, Carla Andreia; De Lima, Silmara Veline; Mendonça, Henrique Rocha; Goulart, Camila de Oliveira; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco
A trauma to the mature central nervous system (CNS) often leads to persistent deficits, due to the inability of axons to regenerate after being injured. Increasing evidence suggests that pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic genes can present a major obstacle to promoting neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells and consequently succeed in axonal regeneration. This study evaluated the effect of the absence of galectin-3 (Gal-3) on retinal ganglion cells (RGC) survival and axonal regeneration/degeneration after optic nerve crush injury. Two weeks after crush there was a 2.6 fold increase in the rate of cell survival in Gal-3-/- mice (1283±79.15) compared to WT animals (495.4±53.96). However, no regeneration was observed in the Gal-3-/- mice two weeks after lesion. Furthermore, axonal degeneration presented a particular pattern on those mice; Electron Microscopy (EM) analysis showed incomplete axon degeneration while the WT mice presented an advanced stage of degeneration. This suggests that the removal of the nerve fibers in the Gal 3-/- mice could be deficient and this would cause a delay in the process of Wallerian degeneration once there is a decrease in the number of macrophages/microglia in the nerve. This study demonstrates how the absence of Gal-3 can affect RGC survival and optic nerve regeneration/degeneration after lesion. Our results suggest that the absence of Gal-3 plays an important role in the survival of RGC and thus can be a potential target for therapeutic intervention in RGC neuroprotection.
de Lima, S.; Mietto, B.S.; Paula, C.; Muniz, T.; Martinez, A.M.B.; Gardino, P.F.
After a traumatic injury to the central nervous system, the distal stumps of axons undergo Wallerian degeneration (WD), an event that comprises cytoskeleton and myelin breakdown, astrocytic gliosis, and overexpression of proteins that inhibit axonal regrowth. By contrast, injured neuronal cell bodies show features characteristic of attempts to initiate the regenerative process of elongating their axons. The main molecular event that leads to WD is an increase in the intracellular calcium concentration, which activates calpains, calcium-dependent proteases that degrade cytoskeleton proteins. The aim of our study was to investigate whether preventing axonal degeneration would impact the survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after crushing the optic nerve. We observed that male Wistar rats (weighing 200-400 g; n=18) treated with an exogenous calpain inhibitor (20 mM) administered via direct application of the inhibitor embedded within the copolymer resin Evlax immediately following optic nerve crush showed a delay in the onset of WD. This delayed onset was characterized by a decrease in the number of degenerated fibers (P<0.05) and an increase in the number of preserved fibers (P<0.05) 4 days after injury. Additionally, most preserved fibers showed a normal G-ratio. These results indicated that calpain inhibition prevented the degeneration of optic nerve fibers, rescuing axons from the process of axonal degeneration. However, analysis of retinal ganglion cell survival demonstrated no difference between the calpain inhibitor- and vehicle-treated groups, suggesting that although the calpain inhibitor prevented axonal degeneration, it had no effect on RGC survival after optic nerve damage. PMID:27007653
Boerries, Melanie; Busch, Hauke
ABSTRACT Programmed cell death during chicken ciliary ganglion (CG) development is mostly discussed as an extrinsically regulated process, guided either by the establishment of a functional balance between preganglionic and postganglionic activity or the availability of target‐derived neurotrophic factors. We found that the expression of the gene coding for the nuclear retinoic acid receptor β (RARB) is transiently upregulated prior to and during the execution phase of cell death in the CG. Using retroviral vectors, the expression of RARB was knocked down during embryonic development in ovo. The knockdown led to a significant increase in CG neuron number after the cell death phase. BrdU injections and active caspase‐3 staining revealed that this increase in neuron number was due to an inhibition of apoptosis during the normal cell death phase. Furthermore, apoptotic neuron numbers were significantly increased at a stage when cell death is normally completed. While the cholinergic phenotype of the neurons remained unchanged after RARB knockdown, the expression of the proneural gene Cash1 was increased, but somatostatin‐like immunoreactivity, a hallmark of the mature choroid neuron population, was decreased. Taken together, these results point toward a delay in neuronal differentiation as well as cell death. The availability of nuclear retinoic acid receptor β (RARβ) and RARβ‐induced transcription of genes could therefore be a new intrinsic cue for the maturation of CG neurons and their predisposition to undergo cell death. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 1204–1218, 2015 PMID:25663354
Guo, Tianruo; Tsai, David; Morley, John W.; Suaning, Gregg J.; Kameneva, Tatiana; Lovell, Nigel H.; Dokos, Socrates
Objective. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) demonstrate a large range of variation in their ionic channel properties and morphologies. Cell-specific properties are responsible for the unique way RGCs process synaptic inputs, as well as artificial electrical signals such as that from a visual prosthesis. A cell-specific computational modelling approach allows us to examine the functional significance of regional membrane channel expression and cell morphology. Approach. In this study, an existing RGC ionic model was extended by including a hyperpolarization activated non-selective cationic current as well as a T-type calcium current identified in recent experimental findings. Biophysically-defined model parameters were simultaneously optimized against multiple experimental recordings from ON and OFF RGCs. Main results. With well-defined cell-specific model parameters and the incorporation of detailed cell morphologies, these models were able to closely reconstruct and predict ON and OFF RGC response properties recorded experimentally. Significance. The resulting models were used to study the contribution of different ion channel properties and spatial structure of neurons to RGC activation. The techniques of this study are generally applicable to other excitable cell models, increasing the utility of theoretical models in accurately predicting the response of real biological neurons.
Abramian, Miganoosh; Lovell, Nigel H.; Morley, John W.; Suaning, Gregg J.; Dokos, Socrates
We investigated retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses to epiretinal electrical stimulation delivered by hexagonally arranged bipolar (Hex) electrodes, in order to assess the feasibility of this electrode arrangement for future retinal implant devices. In vitro experiments were performed using rabbit retinal preparations, with results compared to a computational model of axonal stimulation. Single-unit RGC responses to electrical stimulation were recorded with extracellular microelectrodes. With 100 µs/phase biphasic pulses, the threshold charge densities were 24.0 ± 11.2 and 7.7 ± 3.2 µC cm-2 for 50 and 125 µm diameter Hex electrodes, respectively. Threshold profiles and response characteristics strongly suggested that RGC axons were the neural activation site. Both the model and in vitro data indicated that localized tissue stimulation is achieved with Hex electrodes.
Petrs-Silva, Hilda; de Freitas, Fabíola G; Linden, Rafael; Chiarini, Luciana B
We examined the behavior of the transcription factor Max during retrograde neuronal degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. Using immunohistochemistry, we found a progressive redistribution of full-length Max from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and dendrites of the ganglion cells following axon damage. Then, the axotomized cells lose all their content of Max, while undergoing nuclear pyknosis and apoptotic cell death. After treatment of retinal explants with either anisomycin or thapsigargin, the rate of nuclear exclusion of Max accompanied the rate of cell death as modulated by either drug. Treatment with a pan-caspase inhibitor abolished both TUNEL staining and immunoreactivity for activated caspase-3, but did not affect the subcellular redistribution of Max immunoreactivity after axotomy. The data show that nuclear exclusion of the transcription factor Max is an early event, which precedes and is independent of the activation of caspases, during apoptotic cell death in the central nervous system.
Lampert, E J; Andorra, M; Torres-Torres, R; Ortiz-Pérez, S; Llufriu, S; Sepúlveda, M; Sola, N; Saiz, A; Sánchez-Dalmau, B; Villoslada, P; Martínez-Lapiscina, Elena H
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) results in color vision impairment regardless of optic neuritis (ON). The exact location of injury remains undefined. The objective of this study is to identify the region leading to dyschromatopsia in MS patients' NON-eyes. We evaluated Spearman correlations between color vision and measures of different regions in the afferent visual pathway in 106 MS patients. Regions with significant correlations were included in logistic regression models to assess their independent role in dyschromatopsia. We evaluated color vision with Hardy-Rand-Rittler plates and retinal damage using Optical Coherence Tomography. We ran SIENAX to measure Normalized Brain Parenchymal Volume (NBPV), FIRST for thalamus volume and Freesurfer for visual cortex areas. We found moderate, significant correlations between color vision and macular retinal nerve fiber layer (rho = 0.289, p = 0.003), ganglion cell complex (GCC = GCIP) (rho = 0.353, p < 0.001), thalamus (rho = 0.361, p < 0.001), and lesion volume within the optic radiations (rho = -0.230, p = 0.030). Only GCC thickness remained significant (p = 0.023) in the logistic regression model. In the final model including lesion load and NBPV as markers of diffuse neuroaxonal damage, GCC remained associated with dyschromatopsia [OR = 0.88 95 % CI (0.80-0.97) p = 0.016]. This association remained significant when we also added sex, age, and disease duration as covariates in the regression model. Dyschromatopsia in NON-eyes is due to damage of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) in MS. Color vision can serve as a marker of RGC damage in MS.
Choi, Myoung-Hwan; Ahn, Jungryul; Park, Dae Jin; Lee, Sang Min; Kim, Kwangsoo; Cho, Dong-il Dan; Senok, Solomon S.; Koo, Kyo-in; Goo, Yong Sook
Objective. Direct stimulation of retinal ganglion cells in degenerate retinas by implanting epi-retinal prostheses is a recognized strategy for restoration of visual perception in patients with retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. Elucidating the best stimulus-response paradigms in the laboratory using multielectrode arrays (MEA) is complicated by the fact that the short-latency spikes (within 10 ms) elicited by direct retinal ganglion cell (RGC) stimulation are obscured by the stimulus artifact which is generated by the electrical stimulator. Approach. We developed an artifact subtraction algorithm based on topographic prominence discrimination, wherein the duration of prominences within the stimulus artifact is used as a strategy for identifying the artifact for subtraction and clarifying the obfuscated spikes which are then quantified using standard thresholding. Main results. We found that the prominence discrimination based filters perform creditably in simulation conditions by successfully isolating randomly inserted spikes in the presence of simple and even complex residual artifacts. We also show that the algorithm successfully isolated short-latency spikes in an MEA-based recording from degenerate mouse retinas, where the amplitude and frequency characteristics of the stimulus artifact vary according to the distance of the recording electrode from the stimulating electrode. By ROC analysis of false positive and false negative first spike detection rates in a dataset of one hundred and eight RGCs from four retinal patches, we found that the performance of our algorithm is comparable to that of a generally-used artifact subtraction filter algorithm which uses a strategy of local polynomial approximation (SALPA). Significance. We conclude that the application of topographic prominence discrimination is a valid and useful method for subtraction of stimulation artifacts with variable amplitudes and shapes. We propose that our algorithm
Mata, David; Linn, David M.
The α7nAChR agonist, PNU-282987, has previously been shown to have a neuroprotective effect against loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in an in vivo glaucoma model when the agent was injected into the vitreous chamber of adult Long Evans rat eyes. Here, we characterized the neuroprotective effect of PNU-282987 at the nerve fiber and retinal ganglion cell layer, determined that neuroprotection occurred when the agonist was applied as eye drops and verified detection of the agonist in the retina, using LC/MS/MS. To induce glaucoma-like conditions in adult Long Evans rats, hypertonic saline was injected into the episcleral veins to induce scar tissue and increase intraocular pressure. Within one month, this procedure produced significant loss of RGCs compared to untreated conditions. RGCs were quantified after immunostaining with an antibody against Thy 1.1 and imaged using a confocal microscope. In dose-response studies, concentrations of PNU-282987 were applied to the animal’s right eye two times each day, while the left eye acted as an internal control. Eye drops of PNU-282987 resulted in neuroprotection against RGC loss in a dose-dependent manner using concentrations between 100 µM and 2 mM PNU-282987. LC/MS/MS results demonstrated that PNU-282987 was detected in the retina when applied as eye drops, relatively small amounts of PNU-282987 were measured in blood plasma and no PNU-282987 was detected in cardiac tissue. These results support the hypothesis that eye drop application of PNU-282987 can prevent loss of RGCs associated with glaucoma, which can lead to neuroprotective treatments for diseases that involve α7nAChRs. PMID:26239818
Bonafede, Lucas; Ficicioglu, Can H.; Serrano, Leona; Han, Grace; Morgan, Jessica I. W.; Mills, Monte D.; Forbes, Brian J.; Davidson, Stefanie L.; Binenbaum, Gil; Kaplan, Paige B.; Nichols, Charles W.; Verloo, Patrick; Leroy, Bart P.; Maguire, Albert M.; Aleman, Tomas S.
Purpose To describe in detail the retinal structure and function of a group of patients with cobalamin C (cblC) disease. Methods Patients (n = 11, age 4 months to 15 years) with cblC disease (9/11, early onset) diagnosed by newborn screening underwent complete ophthalmic examinations, fundus photography, near-infrared reflectance imaging, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Electroretinograms (ERGs) were performed in a subset of patients. Results Patients carried homozygous or compound heterozygote mutations in the methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria type C (MMACHC) gene. Late-onset patients had a normal exam. All early-onset patients showed a maculopathy; older subjects had a retina-wide degeneration (n = 4; >7 years of age). In general, retinal changes were first observed before 1 year of age and progressed within months to a well-established maculopathy. Pseudocolobomas were documented in three patients. Measurable visual acuities ranged from 20/200 to 20/540. Nystagmus was present in 8/11 patients; 5/6 patients had normal ERGs; 1/6 had reduced rod-mediated responses. Spectral-domain OCT showed macular thinning, with severe ganglion cell layer (GCL) and outer nuclear layer (ONL) loss. Inner retinal thickening was observed in areas of total GCL/ONL loss. A normal lamination pattern in the peripapillary nasal retina was often seen despite severe central and/or retina-wide disease. Conclusions Patients with early-onset cblC and MMACHC mutations showed an early-onset, unusually fast-progressing maculopathy with severe central ONL and GCL loss. An abnormally thickened inner retina supports a remodeling response to both photoreceptor and ganglion cell degeneration and/or an interference with normal development in early-onset cblC. PMID:26658511
Kaja, Simon; Mafe, Oloruntoyin A.; Parikh, Ruby A.; Kandula, Prasanthi; Reddy, Chanakyaram A.; Gregg, Elaine V.; Xin, Hua; Mitchell, Peter; Grillo, Michael A.; Koulen, Peter
The polycystin family of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels form Ca2+ regulated cation channels with distinct subcellullar localizations and functions. As part of heteromultimeric channels and multi-protein complexes, polycystins control intracellular Ca2+ signals and more generally the translation of extracellular signals and stimuli to intracellular responses. Polycystin-2 channels have been cloned from retina, but their distribution and function in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) have not yet been established. In the present study, we determined cellular and subcellular localization as well as functional properties of polycystin-2 channels in RGCs. Polycystin-2 expression and distribution in RGCs was assessed by immunohistochemistry on vertical cryostat section of mouse retina as well as primary cultured mouse RGCs, using fluorescence microscopy. Biophysical and pharmacological properties of polycystin-2 channels isolated from primary cultured RGCs were determined using planar lipid bilayer electrophysiology. We detected polycystin-2 immunoreactivity both in the ganglion cell layer as well as in primary cultured RGCs. Subcellular analysis revealed strong cytosolic localization pattern of polycystin-2. Polycystin-2 channel current was Ca2+ activated, had a maximum slope conductance of 114 pS and could be blocked in a dose-dependent manner by increasing concentrations of Mg2+. The cytosolic localization of polycystin-2 in RGCs is in accordance with its function as intracellular Ca2+ release channel. We conclude that polycystin-2 forms functional channels in RGCs, of which biophysical and pharmacological properties are similar to polycystin-2 channels reported for other tissues and organisms. Our data suggest a potential role for polycystin-2 in RGC Ca2+ signaling. PMID:22155264
Paolini, Alessio; Duchemin, Anne-Laure; Albadri, Shahad; Patzel, Eva; Bornhorst, Dorothee; González Avalos, Paula; Lemke, Steffen; Machate, Anja; Brand, Michael; Sel, Saadettin; Di Donato, Vincenzo; Del Bene, Filippo; Zolessi, Flavio R; Ramialison, Mirana; Poggi, Lucia
Divisions that generate one neuronal lineage-committed and one self-renewing cell maintain the balance of proliferation and differentiation for the generation of neuronal diversity. The asymmetric inheritance of apical domains and components of the cell division machinery has been implicated in this process, and might involve interactions with cell fate determinants in regulatory feedback loops of an as yet unknown nature. Here, we report the dynamics of Anillin - an essential F-actin regulator and furrow component - and its contribution to progenitor cell divisions in the developing zebrafish retina. We find that asymmetrically dividing retinal ganglion cell progenitors position the Anillin-rich midbody at the apical domain of the differentiating daughter. anillin hypomorphic conditions disrupt asymmetric apical domain inheritance and affect daughter cell fate. Consequently, the retinal cell type composition is profoundly affected, such that the ganglion cell layer is dramatically expanded. This study provides the first in vivo evidence for the requirement of Anillin during asymmetric neurogenic divisions. It also provides insights into a reciprocal regulation between Anillin and the ganglion cell fate determinant Ath5, suggesting a mechanism whereby the balance of proliferation and differentiation is accomplished during progenitor cell divisions in vivo.
Marcucci, Florencia; Murcia-Belmonte, Veronica; Coca, Yaiza; Ferreiro-Galve, Susana; Wang, Qing; Kuwajima, Takaaki; Khalid, Sania; Ross, M. Elizabeth; Herrera, Eloisa; Mason, Carol
Summary The retina of lower vertebrates grows continuously by integrating new neurons generated from progenitors in the ciliary margin zone (CMZ). Whether the mammalian CMZ provides the neural retina with retinal cells is controversial. Live-imaging of embryonic retina expressing eGFP in the CMZ shows that cells migrate laterally from the CMZ to the neural retina where differentiated retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) reside. As Cyclin D2, a cell-cycle regulator, is enriched in ventral CMZ, we analyzed Cyclin D2−/− mice to test whether the CMZ is a source of retinal cells. Neurogenesis is diminished in Cyclin D2 mutants, leading to a reduction of RGCs in the ventral retina. In line with these findings, in the albino retina, the decreased production of ipsilateral RGCs is correlated with fewer Cyclin D2+ cells. Together, these results implicate the mammalian CMZ as a neurogenic site that produces RGCs and whose proper generation depends on Cyclin D2 activity. PMID:28009286
Choudhury, Shreyasi; Strang, Christianne E.; Alexander, John J.; Scalabrino, Miranda L.; Lynch Hill, Julie; Kasuga, Daniel T.; Witherspoon, C. Douglas; Boye, Sanford L.; Gamlin, Paul D.; Boye, Shannon E.
Purpose: The ability to generate macaque retinas with sortable cell populations would be of great benefit to both basic and translational studies of the primate retina. The purpose of our study was therefore to develop methods to achieve this goal by selectively labeling, in life, photoreceptors (PRs) and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with separate fluorescent markers. Methods: Labeling of macaque (Macaca fascicularis) PRs and RGCs was accomplished by subretinal delivery of AAV5-hGRK1-GFP, and retrograde transport of micro-ruby™ from the lateral geniculate nucleus, respectively. Retinas were anatomically separated into different regions. Dissociation conditions were optimized, and cells from each region underwent fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS). Expression of retinal cell type- specific genes was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR to characterize isolated cell populations. Results: We show that macaque PRs and RGCs can be simultaneously labeled in-life and enriched populations isolated by FACS. Recovery from different retinal regions indicated efficient isolation/enrichment for PRs and RGCs, with the macula being particularly amendable to this technique. Conclusions: The methods and materials presented here allow for the identification of novel reagents designed to target RGCs and/or photoreceptors in a species that is phylogenetically and anatomically similar to human. These techniques will enable screening of intravitreally-delivered AAV capsid libraries for variants with increased tropism for PRs and/or RGCs and the evaluation of vector tropism and/or cellular promoter activity of gene therapy vectors in a clinically relevant species. PMID:27990105
Kim, Choong-Il; Lee, Sung-Ho; Seong, Gong-Je; Kim, Yeon-Hyang; Lee, Mi-Young . E-mail: email@example.com
To investigate the effect of hyper-pressure on retinal ganglion cells (RGC-5), RGC-5 cells were exposed to an ambient hydrostatic pressure of 100 mm Hg. Upon treatment, the proliferation of RGC-5 cells was inhibited and neuronal apoptosis was detected by specific apoptosis marker TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling). To probe into the mechanism mediating the apoptosis of RGC-5 cells in 100 mm Hg, protein profile alterations following hyper-pressure treatment were examined using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) followed by MALDI-TOF. Out of the 400 protein spots of RGC-5 cells detected on 2-DE gels, 37 differentially expressed protein spots were further identified using in gel tryptic digestion and mass spectrometry. Among these proteins, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was significantly expressed 10 times more in 100 mm Hg than in normal pressure. The accumulation of GAPDH in the nucleus and its translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus in 100 mm Hg were observed using a microscope. These results suggest that the hyper-pressure-induced apoptosis in RGC-5 cells may be involved with not only the increase of GAPDH expression, but also the accumulation and the translocalization of GAPDH to the nucleus.
Zhao, Xiwu; Stafford, Ben K; Godin, Ashley L; King, W Michael; Wong, Kwoon Y
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) mediate non-image-forming visual responses, including pupillary constriction, circadian photoentrainment and suppression of pineal melatonin secretion. Five morphological types of ipRGCs, M1-M5, have been identified in mice. In order to understand their functions better, we studied the photoresponses of all five cell types, by whole-cell recording from fluorescently labelled ipRGCs visualized using multiphoton microscopy. All ipRGC types generated melanopsin-based ('intrinsic') as well as synaptically driven ('extrinsic') light responses. The intrinsic photoresponses of M1 cells were lower threshold, higher amplitude and faster than those of M2-M5. The peak amplitudes of extrinsic light responses differed among the ipRGC types; however, the responses of all cell types had comparable thresholds, kinetics and waveforms, and all cells received rod input. While all five types exhibited inhibitory amacrine-cell and excitatory bipolar-cell inputs from the 'on' channel, M1 and M3 received additional 'off'-channel inhibition, possibly through their 'off'-sublamina dendrites. The M2-M5 ipRGCs had centre-surround-organized receptive fields, implicating a capacity to detect spatial contrast. In contrast, the receptive fields of M1 cells lacked surround antagonism, which might be caused by the surround of the inhibitory input nullifying the surround of the excitatory input. All ipRGCs responded robustly to a wide range of motion speeds, and M1-M4 cells appeared tuned to different speeds, suggesting that they might analyse the speed of motion. Retrograde labelling revealed that M1-M4 cells project to the superior colliculus, suggesting that the contrast and motion information signalled by these cells could be used by this sensorimotor area to detect novel objects and motion in the visual field.
Corliss, Deborah A.; Gray, Brianna; Anderson, Julia K.; Bobbin, Richard P.; Snyder, Evan Y.; Cotanche, Douglas A.
Most cases of hearing loss are caused by the death or dysfunction of one of the many cochlear cell types. We examined whether cells from a neural stem cell line could replace cochlear cell types lost after exposure to intense noise. For this purpose, we transplanted a clonal stem cell line into the scala tympani of sound damaged mice and guinea pigs. Utilizing morphological, protein expression and genetic criteria, stem cells were found with characteristics of both neural tissues (satellite, spiral ganglion and Schwann cells) and cells of the organ of Corti (hair cells, supporting cells). Additionally, noise-exposed, stem cell-injected animals exhibited a small but significant increase in the number of satellite cells and Type I spiral ganglion neurons compared to non-injected noise-exposed animals. These results indicate that cells of this neural stem cell line migrate from the scala tympani to Rosenthal's canal and the organ of Corti. Moreover, it suggests that cells of this neural stem cell line may derive some information needed from the microenvironment of the cochlea to differentiate into replacement cells in the cochlea. PMID:17659854
LaMotte, Robert H.; Chao, MA
The cell body or soma in the dosal root ganglion (DRG) is normally excitable and this excitability can increase and persist after an injury of peripheral sensory neurons. In a rat model of radicular pain, an intraforaminal implantation of a rod that chronically compressed the lumbar DRG (“CCD” model) resulted in neuronal somal hyperexcitability and spontaneous activity that was accompanied by hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral hind paw. By the 5th day after onset of CCD, there was a novel upregulation in neuronal expression of the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2) and also its receptor, CCR2. The neurons developed, in response to topically applied MCP-1, an excitatory response that they normally do not have. CCD also activated non-neuronal cells including, for example, the endothelial cells as evidenced by angiogenesis in the form of an increased number of capillaries in the DRG after 7 days. A working hypothesis is that the CCD induced changes in neurons and non-neuronal cells that may act together to promote the survival of the injured tissue. The release of ligands such as CCL2, in addition to possibly activating nociceptive neurons (maintaining the pain), may also act to preserve injured cells in the face of ischemia and hypoxia, for example, by promoting angiogenesis. Thus, somal hyperexcitability, as often said of inflammation, may represent a double edged sword. PMID:18958366
LaMotte, Robert H; Ma, Chao
The cell body or soma in the dosal root ganglion (DRG) is normally excitable and this excitability can increase and persist after an injury of peripheral sensory neurons. In a rat model of radicular pain, an intraforaminal implantation of a rod that chronically compressed the lumbar DRG ("CCD" model) resulted in neuronal somal hyperexcitability and spontaneous activity that was accompanied by hyperalgesia in the ipsilateral hind paw. By the 5th day after onset of CCD, there was a novel upregulation in neuronal expression of the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1 or CCL2) and also its receptor, CCR2. The neurons developed, in response to topically applied MCP-1, an excitatory response that they normally do not have. CCD also activated non-neuronal cells including, for example, the endothelial cells as evidenced by angiogenesis in the form of an increased number of capillaries in the DRG after 7 days. A working hypothesis is that the CCD induced changes in neurons and non-neuronal cells that may act together to promote the survival of the injured tissue. The release of ligands such as CCL2, in addition to possibly activating nociceptive neurons (maintaining the pain), may also act to preserve injured cells in the face of ischemia and hypoxia, for example, by promoting angiogenesis. Thus, somal hyperexcitability, as often said of inflammation, may represent a double edged sword.
Han, Ming-lei; Liu, Guo-hua; Guo, Jin; Yu, Shu-juan; Huang, Jing
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration is irreversible in glaucoma and tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB)-associated signaling pathways have been implicated in the process. In this study, we attempted to examine whether imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, may protect hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced RGC degeneration through the activation of the TrkB pathway in RGC-5 cell lines. RGC-5 cell lines were pre-treated with imipramine 30 minutes before exposure to H2O2. Western blot assay showed that in H2O2 -damaged RGC-5 cells, imipramine activated TrkB pathways through extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase/TrkB phosphorylation. TUNEL staining assay also demonstrated that imipramine ameliorated H2O2 -induced apoptosis in RGC-5 cells. Finally, TrkB-IgG intervention was able to reverse the protective effect of imipramine on H2O2 -induced RGC-5 apoptosis. Imipramine therefore protects RGCs from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis through the TrkB signaling pathway. PMID:27127489
Margolis, David J.; Gartland, Andrew J.; Euler, Thomas; Detwiler, Peter B.
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the output cells of the retina; they convert synaptic input into spike output that carries visual information to the brain. Synaptic inputs are received, integrated and communicated to the spike initiation zone of the axon by dendrites whose properties are poorly understood. Here simultaneous patch clamp recording and 2-photon Ca2+ imaging are used to study voltage- and light-evoked Ca2+ signals in the dendrites of identified types of mouse RGCs from parallel ON and OFF pathways, which encode the onset and offset of light, respectively. The results show pathway-specific differences in voltage-dependent Ca2+ signaling. While both ON and OFF cells express high-voltage-activated (HVA) Ca2+ channels, only OFF RGCs also express low-voltage-activated (LVA) Ca2+ channels. LVA Ca2+ channels in OFF cells are de-inactivated by hyperpolarization from the resting potential and give rise to rebound excited Ca2+ spikes at the termination of a step of either hyperpolarizing current or light. This suggests that the differential expression of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in ON and OFF RGC dendrites contribute to differences in the way the two cell types process visual stimuli. PMID:20505081
Xu, Hong-Ping; Sun, Jin Hao; Tian, Ning
Dendritic arbors of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) collect information over a certain area of the visual scene. The coverage territory and the arbor density of dendrites determine what fraction of the visual field is sampled by a single cell and at what resolution. However, it is not clear whether visual stimulation is required for the establishment of branching patterns of RGCs, and whether a general principle directs the dendritic patterning of diverse RGCs. By analyzing the geometric structures of RGC dendrites, we found that dendritic arbors of RGCs underwent a substantial spatial rearrangement after eye-opening. Light deprivation blocked both the dendritic growth and the branch patterning, suggesting that visual stimulation is required for the acquisition of specific branching patterns of RGCs. We further showed that vision-dependent dendritic growth and arbor refinement occurred mainly in the middle portion of the dendritic tree. This nonproportional growth and selective refinement suggest that the late-stage dendritic development of RGCs is not a passive stretching with the growth of eyes, but rather an active process of selective growth/elimination of dendritic arbors of RGCs driven by visual activity. Finally, our data showed that there was a power law relationship between the coverage territory and dendritic arbor density of RGCs on a cell-by-cell basis. RGCs were systematically less dense when they cover larger territories regardless of their cell type, retinal location, or developmental stage. These results suggest that a general structural design principle directs the vision-dependent patterning of RGC dendrites.
Marcucci, Florencia; Cerullo, Isadora
The increasing availability of transcriptomic technologies within the last decade has facilitated high-throughput identification of gene expression differences that define distinct cell types as well as the molecular pathways that drive their specification. The retinal projection neurons, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), can be categorized into distinct morphological and functional subtypes and by the laterality of their projections. Here, we present a method for purifying the sparse population of ipsilaterally projecting RGCs in mouse retina from their contralaterally projecting counterparts during embryonic development through rapid retrograde labeling followed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Through microarray analysis, we uncovered the distinct molecular signatures that define and distinguish ipsilateral and contralateral RGCs during the critical period of axonal outgrowth and decussation, with more than 300 genes differentially expressed within these two cell populations. Among the differentially expressed genes confirmed through in vivo expression validation, several genes that mark “immaturity” are expressed within postmitotic ipsilateral RGCs. Moreover, at least one complementary pair, Igf1 and Igfbp5, is upregulated in contralateral or ipsilateral RGCs, respectively, and may represent signaling pathways that determine ipsilateral versus contralateral RGC identity. Importantly, the cell cycle regulator cyclin D2 is highly expressed in peripheral ventral retina with a dynamic expression pattern that peaks during the period of ipsilateral RGC production. Thus, the molecular signatures of ipsilateral and contralateral RGCs and the mechanisms that regulate their differentiation are more diverse than previously expected. PMID:27957530
Germain, F; Fernández, E; de la Villa, P
Optic nerve section in mammals induces apoptotic death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). However, a small population of RGCs survives for a relatively long time. These cells experience significant morphological changes due to the apoptotic process, but some of these changes are not clearly differentiated from those experienced in necrotic cells. In the present work, rabbit RGCs were studied 1 month after optic nerve section using light microscopy after neurobiotin injection, transmission electron microscopy (EM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Apoptosis was identified by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling and characteristic signs of apoptosis were observed in the EM images. Ultrastructural analyses showed vacuolar degeneration in the cytoplasm and normal cellular structure loss. Signs of membrane changes were observed in axotomized RGCs by SEM. Early changes seen in the cell membrane suggest that axotomy may cause important changes in the cytoskeleton. We conclude that characteristic signs of apoptosis at the cell membrane level are clearly observed in rabbit RGCs after axotomy and they may be responsible for the cellular death.
Li, Peng; Mao, Zhangming; Peng, Zhangli; Zhou, Lanlan; Chen, Yuchao; Huang, Po-Hsun; Truica, Cristina I; Drabick, Joseph J; El-Deiry, Wafik S; Dao, Ming; Suresh, Subra; Huang, Tony Jun
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are important targets for cancer biology studies. To further elucidate the role of CTCs in cancer metastasis and prognosis, effective methods for isolating extremely rare tumor cells from peripheral blood must be developed. Acoustic-based methods, which are known to preserve the integrity, functionality, and viability of biological cells using label-free and contact-free sorting, have thus far not been successfully developed to isolate rare CTCs using clinical samples from cancer patients owing to technical constraints, insufficient throughput, and lack of long-term device stability. In this work, we demonstrate the development of an acoustic-based microfluidic device that is capable of high-throughput separation of CTCs from peripheral blood samples obtained from cancer patients. Our method uses tilted-angle standing surface acoustic waves. Parametric numerical simulations were performed to design optimum device geometry, tilt angle, and cell throughput that is more than 20 times higher than previously possible for such devices. We first validated the capability of this device by successfully separating low concentrations (∼100 cells/mL) of a variety of cancer cells from cell culture lines from WBCs with a recovery rate better than 83%. We then demonstrated the isolation of CTCs in blood samples obtained from patients with breast cancer. Our acoustic-based separation method thus offers the potential to serve as an invaluable supplemental tool in cancer research, diagnostics, drug efficacy assessment, and therapeutics owing to its excellent biocompatibility, simple design, and label-free automated operation while offering the capability to isolate rare CTCs in a viable state.
Schmid, Lothar; Weitz, David A; Franke, Thomas
We describe a versatile microfluidic fluorescence-activated cell sorter that uses acoustic actuation to sort cells or drops at ultra-high rates. Our acoustic sorter combines the advantages of traditional fluorescence-activated cell (FACS) and droplet sorting (FADS) and is applicable for a multitude of objects. We sort aqueous droplets, at rates as high as several kHz, into two or even more outlet channels. We can also sort cells directly from the medium without prior encapsulation into drops; we demonstrate this by sorting fluorescently labeled mouse melanoma cells in a single phase fluid. Our acoustic microfluidic FACS is compatible with standard cell sorting cytometers, yet, at the same time, enables a rich variety of more sophisticated applications.
Yungher, Benjamin J.; Ribeiro, Márcio; Park, Kevin K.
Purpose Enhanced regeneration of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons can be achieved by modification of numerous neuronal-intrinsic factors. However, axon growth initiation and the pathfinding behavior of these axons after traumatic injury remain poorly understood outside of acute injury paradigms, despite the clinical relevance of more chronic settings. We therefore examined RGC axon regeneration following therapeutic delivery that is postponed until 2 months after optic nerve crush injury. Methods Optic nerve regeneration was induced by virally mediated (adeno-associated virus) ciliary neurotrophic factor (AAV-CNTF) administered either immediately or 56 days after optic nerve crush in wild-type or Bax knockout (KO) mice. Retinal ganglion nerve axon regeneration was assessed 21 and 56 days after viral injection. Immunohistochemical analysis of RGC injury signals and extrinsic factors in the optic nerve were also examined at 5 and 56 days post crush. Results In addition to sustained expression of injury response proteins in surviving RGCs, we observe axon regrowth in wild-type and apoptosis-deficient Bax KO mice following AAV-CNTF treatment. Fewer instances of aberrant axon growth are seen, at least in the area near the lesion site, in animals given treatment 56 days after crush injury compared to the animals given treatment immediately after injury. We also find evidence of long distance growth into a visual target in Bax KO mice despite postponed initiation of this regenerative program. Conclusions These studies provide evidence against an intrinsic critical period for RGC axon regeneration or degradation of injury signals. Regeneration results from Bax KO mice imply highly sustained regenerative capacity in RGCs, highlighting the importance of long-lasting neuroprotective strategies as well as of RGC axon guidance research in chronically injured animals. PMID:28324115
Cooper, Bonnie; Lee, Barry B; Cao, Dingcai
The goal of these experiments was to test how well cell responses to visual patterns can be predicted from the sinewave tuning curve. Magnocellular (MC) and parvocellular (PC) ganglion cell responses to different spatial waveforms (sinewave, squarewave, and ramp waveforms) were measured across a range of spatial frequencies. Sinewave spatial tuning curves were fit with standard Gaussian models. From these fits, waveforms and spatial tuning of a cell's responses to the other waveforms were predicted for different harmonics by scaling in amplitude for the power in the waveform's Fourier expansion series over spatial frequency. Since higher spatial harmonics move at a higher temporal frequency, an additional scaling for each harmonic by the MC (bandpass) or PC (lowpass) temporal response was included, together with response phase. Finally, the model included a rectifying nonlinearity. This provided a largely satisfactory estimation of MC and PC cell responses to complex waveforms. As a consequence of their transient responses, MC responses to complex waveforms were found to have significantly more energy in higher spatial harmonic components than PC responses. Response variance (noise) was also quantified as a function of harmonic component. Noise increased to some degree for the higher harmonics. The data are relevant for psychophysical detection or discrimination of visual patterns, and we discuss the results in this context.
DEITCH, A D; MOSES, M J
Living chick spinal ganglion neurons grown for 19 to 25 days in vitro were photographed with a color-translating ultraviolet microscope (UV-91) at 265, 287, and 310 mmicro. This instrument was unique in permitting rapid accumulation of ultraviolet information with minimal damage to the cell. In the photographs taken at 265 mmicro of the living neurons, discrete ultraviolet-absorbing cytoplasmic masses were observed which were found to be virtually unchanged in appearance after formalin fixation. These were identical with the Nissl bodies of the same cells seen after staining with basic dyes. The correlation of ultraviolet absorption, ribonuclease extraction, and staining experiments with acid and basic dyes confirmed the ribonucleoprotein nature of these Nissl bodies in the living and fixed cells. No change in distribution or concentration of ultraviolet-absorbing substance was observed in the first 12 ultraviolet photographs of a neuron, and it is concluded that the cells had not been subjected to significant ultraviolet damage during the period of photography. On the basis of these observations, as well as previous findings with phase contrast microscopy, it is concluded that Nissl bodies preexist in the living neuron as discrete aggregates containing high concentrations of nucleoprotein.
Ren, Chaoran; Pu, Mingliang; Cui, Qi; So, Kwok-Fai
In this study we investigated the morphological features of the caudal periaqueductal gray (cPAG)-projecting retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in Mongolian gerbils using retrograde labeling, in vitro intracellular injection, confocal microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction approaches. cPAG-projecting RGCs exhibit small somata (10–17 µm) and irregular dendritic fields (201–298 µm). Sizes of somata and dendritic fields do not show obvious variation at different distance from the optic disk (eccentricity). Dendrites are moderately branched. Morphological analysis (n = 23) reveals that cPAG-projecting RGCs ramified in sublamina a and b in the inner plexiform layer. These cells exhibit different stratification patterns based on the thickness of dendritic bands in sublaminas a and b: majority of analyzed cells (16 out of 23) have two bands of arborizations share similar thickness. The rest of analyzed cells (7 out of 23) exhibit thinner band in sublamina a than in sublamina b. Together, the present study suggests that cPAG of Mongolian gerbil could receive direct retinal inputs from two types of bistratified RGCs. Furthermore, a small subset of melanopsin-expressing RGCs (total 41 in 6 animals) is shown to innervate the rostral PAG (rPAG). Functional characteristics of these non-visual center projecting RGCs remain to be determined. PMID:25054882
Boone, Jason Q; Doe, Chris Q
Mammalian neural stem cells generate transit amplifying progenitors that expand the neuronal population, but these type of progenitors have not been studied in Drosophila. The Drosophila larval brain contains approximately 100 neural stem cells (neuroblasts) per brain lobe, which are thought to bud off smaller ganglion mother cells (GMCs) that each produce two post-mitotic neurons. Here, we use molecular markers and clonal analysis to identify a novel neuroblast cell lineage containing "transit amplifying GMCs" (TA-GMCs). TA-GMCs differ from canonical GMCs in several ways: each TA-GMC has nuclear Deadpan, cytoplasmic Prospero, forms Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generates up to 10 neurons; canonical GMCs lack Deadpan, have nuclear Prospero, lack Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generate two neurons. We conclude that there are at least two types of neuroblast lineages: a Type I lineage where GMCs generate two neurons, and a type II lineage where TA-GMCs have longer lineages. Type II lineages allow more neurons to be produced faster than Type I lineages, which may be advantageous in a rapidly developing organism like Drosophila.
Liu, Zhaochun; Chen, Juying; Huang, Wendong; Zeng, Zhi; Yang, Yongfei; Zhu, Banghao
The current study was designed to investigate the effect of ginsenoside Rb1 (Rb1) on apoptosis induced by hypoxia and oxidative stress in a retinal ganglion cell line (RGC-5). The underlying mechanism was also investigated. RGC-5 cells were pretreated with 10 µmol/l Rb1 for 24 h and exposed to 400 µmol/l cobalt chloride (CoCl2) for 48 h or 600 µmol/l H2O2 for 24 h. The percentage of cells actively undergoing apoptosis was determined by ﬂow cytometry with Annexin V/propidium iodide (PI) double staining. The expression of caspases was determined using western blot analysis. CoCl2 and H2O2 treatments significantly increased the apoptotic percentages to 24.5 and 21.63%, respectively. Pretreatment of Rb1 reduced the total apoptotic percentages to 15.12 and 12.03%, respectively. The expression of cleaved caspase-3, -9 and -8 was increased in the CoCl2-treated group, however, caspase-3 was not increased in the H2O2-treated group. Pretreatment of Rb1 reduced the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and -9 in the CoCl2-treated group, but reduced only cleaved caspase-9 in the H2O2-treated group. These results suggest that Rb1 may prevent RGC-5 cells from apoptosis against hypoxia and oxidative stress via the mitochondrial pathway.
Yan, Pan-shi; Tang, Shu; Zhang, Hai-feng; Guo, Yuan-yuan; Zeng, Zhi-wen; Wen, Qiang
Accumulating evidence supports an important role for nerve growth factor (NGF) in diabetic retinopathy. We hypothesized that NGF has a protective effect on rat retinal ganglion RGC-5 cells injured by palmitic acid (PA), a metabolic factor implicated in the development of diabetes and its complications. Our results show that PA exposure caused apoptosis of RGC-5 cells, while NGF protected against PA insult in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, NGF significantly attenuated the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in RGC-5 cells. Pathway inhibitor tests showed that the protective effect of NGF was completely reversed by LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor), Akt VIII inhibitor, and PD98059 (ERK1/2 inhibitor). Western blot analysis revealed that NGF induced the phosphorylation of Akt/FoxO1 and ERK1/2 and reversed the PA-evoked reduction in the levels of these proteins. These results indicate that NGF protects RGC-5 cells against PA-induced injury through anti-oxidation and inhibition of apoptosis by modulation of the PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. PMID:28123432
Sakamoto, Kenji; Murakami, Yuta; Sawada, Shohei; Ushikubo, Hiroko; Mori, Asami; Nakahara, Tsutomu; Ishii, Kunio
Retinal ganglion cell death in glaucoma is caused at least in part by a large Ca(2+) influx through N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptors. Apelin is a peptide originally found in the tissue extracts of bovine stomach. Recent studies have been shown that apelin protects against the ischemic-reperfused injury in the brain. We examined whether apelin had protective effects on the NMDA-induced retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death using B6.Cg-TgN(Thy1-CFP)23Jrs/J transgenic mice, which express the enhanced cyan fluorescent protein in RGCs in the retina, in vivo. The mice were anesthetized by ketamine and xylazine, and NMDA (40 nmol/eye) was intravitreally injected. We evaluated the effects of apelin-13, [Glp(1)]-apelin-13, a potent agonist of apelin receptor, and apelin-36 on the NMDA-induced retinal ganglion cell death. NMDA-induced retinal ganglion cell loss was clearly seen 7 days after NMDA injection. Intravitreal apelin-36 (0.33 nmol/eye), but not apelin-13 (1 nmol/eye) nor [Glp(1)]-apelin-13 (1 nmol/eye), simultaneously injected with NMDA significantly reduced the cell loss. The protective effect of apelin-36 was not reduced by ML221 (0.1 nmol/eye; 5-[(4-Nitrobenzoyl)oxy]-2-[(2-pyrimidinylthio)methyl]-4H-pyran-4-one), an apelin receptor antagonist, GF109203X (0.03 nmol/eye), a protein kinase C inhibitor, U0126 (0.2 nmol/eye), a MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor, LY294002 (0.1 nmol/eye), a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, Akti 1/2 (0.05 nmol/eye), an Akt inhibitor, or 4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole (0.2 nmol/eye), a casein kinase-2 inhibitor. In addition, human apelin-36 did not affect the kainic-acid (20 nmol/eye)-induced ganglion cell death. The present study suggests that apelin-36 protects against the NMDA-induced ganglion cell death independently of the activation of apelin receptor in the murine retina in vivo.
Twyford, Perry; Cai, Changsi; Fried, Shelley
Objective. The field of retinal prosthetics for artificial vision has advanced considerably in recent years, however clinical outcomes remain inconsistent. The performance of retinal prostheses is likely limited by the inability of electrical stimuli to preferentially activate different types of retinal ganglion cell (RGC). Approach. Here we examine the response of rabbit RGCs to high-frequency stimulation, using biphasic pulses applied at 2000 pulses per second. Responses were recorded using cell-attached patch clamp methods, and stimulation was applied epiretinally via a small cone electrode. Main results. When prolonged stimulus trains were applied to OFF-brisk transient (BT) RGCs, the cells exhibited a non-monotonic relationship between response strength and stimulus amplitude; this response pattern was different from those elicited previously by other electrical stimuli. When the amplitude of the stimulus was modulated transiently from a non-zero baseline amplitude, ON-BT and OFF-BT cells exhibited different activity patterns: ON cells showed an increase in activity while OFF cells exhibited a decrease in activity. Using a different envelope to modulate the amplitude of the stimulus, we observed the opposite effect: ON cells exhibited a decrease in activity while OFF cells show an increase in activity. Significance. As ON and OFF RGCs often exhibit opposing activity patterns in response to light stimulation, this work suggests that high-frequency electrical stimulation of RGCs may be able to elicit responses that are more physiological than traditional pulsatile stimuli. Additionally, the prospect of an electrical stimulus capable of cell-type specific selective activation has broad applications throughout the fields of neural stimulation and neuroprostheses.
Kanjhan, R; Osborne, P B; Ouyang, M; Keast, J R
Androgens have potent effects on the maturation and maintenance of a number of neural pathways involved in reproductive behaviors in males. Most studies in this area have focused on central pathways, but androgen receptors are expressed by many peripheral neurons innervating reproductive organs, and previous studies have demonstrated structural and chemical changes in these neurons at puberty and after castration. We have performed the first electrophysiological comparison of pelvic autonomic ganglion neurons in male rats before and after puberty and following pre- or postpubertal castration. Studies were performed in vitro on intact ganglia with hypogastric and pelvic nerves attached to allow synaptic activation of sympathetic or parasympathetic neurons, respectively. Pelvic ganglion neurons underwent many changes in their passive and active membrane properties over the pubertal period, and some of these changes were dependent on exposure to circulating androgens. The most pronounced steroid-dependent effects were on membrane capacitance (soma size) in sympathetic neurons and duration of the action potential afterhyperpolarization in tonic neurons. Our study also showed that rat pelvic ganglion cells and their synaptic inputs were more diverse than previously reported. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that rat pelvic ganglion neurons undergo considerable postnatal changes in their electrophysiological properties. The steroid dependence of some of these changes indicates that circulating androgens may influence reproductive behaviors at many locations within the nervous system not just in the brain and spinal cord.
Jo, Rebecca E.; Ullian, Erik M.; Wong, Rachel O.L.
Key issues concerning ganglion cell type-specific loss and synaptic changes in animal models of experimental glaucoma remain highly debated. Importantly, changes in the structure and function of various RGC types that occur early, within 14 d after acute, transient intraocular pressure elevation, have not been previously assessed. Using biolistic transfection of individual RGCs and multielectrode array recordings to measure light responses in mice, we examined the effects of laser-induced ocular hypertension on the structure and function of a subset of RGCs. Among the α-like RGCs studied, αOFF-transient RGCs exhibited higher rates of cell death, with corresponding reductions in dendritic area, dendritic complexity, and synapse density. Functionally, OFF-transient RGCs displayed decreases in spontaneous activity and receptive field size. In contrast, neither αOFF-sustained nor αON-sustained RGCs displayed decreases in light responses, although they did exhibit a decrease in excitatory postsynaptic sites, suggesting that synapse loss may be one of the earliest signs of degeneration. Interestingly, presynaptic ribbon density decreased to a greater degree in the OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer, corroborating the hypothesis that RGCs with dendrites stratifying in the OFF sublamina may be damaged early. Indeed, OFF arbors of ON-OFF RGCs lose complexity more rapidly than ON arbors. Our results reveal type-specific differences in RGC responses to injury with a selective vulnerability of αOFF-transient RGCs, and furthermore, an increased susceptibility of synapses in the OFF sublamina. The selective vulnerability of specific RGC types offers new avenues for the design of more sensitive functional tests and targeted neuroprotection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Conflicting reports regarding the selective vulnerability of specific retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types in glaucoma exist. We examine, for the first time, the effects of transient intraocular pressure
Sargoy, Allison; Sun, Xiaoping
Aberrant calcium regulation has been implicated as a causative factor in the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in numerous injury models of optic neuropathy. Since calcium has dual roles in maintaining homeostasis and triggering apoptotic pathways in healthy and injured cells, respectively, investigation of voltage-gated Ca channel (VGCC) regulation as a potential strategy to reduce the loss of RGCs is warranted. The accessibility and structure of the retina provide advantages for the investigation of the mechanisms of calcium signalling in both the somata of ganglion cells as well as their unmyelinated axons. The goal of the present study was to determine the distribution of VGCC subtypes in the cell bodies and axons of ganglion cells in the normal retina and to define their contribution to calcium signals in these cellular compartments. We report L-type Ca channel α1C and α1D subunit immunoreactivity in rat RGC somata and axons. The N-type Ca channel α1B subunit was in RGC somata and axons, while the P/Q-type Ca channel α1A subunit was only in the RGC somata. We patch clamped isolated ganglion cells and biophysically identified T-type Ca channels. Calcium imaging studies of RGCs in wholemounted retinas showed that selective Ca channel antagonists reduced depolarization-evoked calcium signals mediated by L-, N-, P/Q- and T-type Ca channels in the cell bodies but only by L-type Ca channels in the axons. This differential contribution of VGCC subtypes to calcium signals in RGC somata and their axons may provide insight into the development of target-specific strategies to spare the loss of RGCs and their axons following injury. PMID:24416240
Deng, Fei; Chen, Mengfei; Liu, Ying; Hu, Huiling; Xiong, Yunfan; Xu, Chaochao; Liu, Yuchun; Li, Kangjun; Zhuang, Jing
Purpose As an alternative and desirable approach for regenerative medicine, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology raises the possibility of developing patient-tailored cell therapies to treat intractable degenerative diseases in the future. This study was undertaken to guide human Tenon’s capsule fibroblasts-derived iPSCs (TiPSCs) to differentiate along the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) lineage, aiming at producing appropriate cellular material for RGC regeneration. Methods By mimicking RGC genesis, we deliberately administered the whole differentiation process and directed the stage-specific differentiation of human TiPSCs toward an RGC fate via manipulation of the retinal inducers (DKK1+Noggin+Lefty A) alongside master gene (Atoh7) sequentially. Throughout this stepwise differentiation process, changes in primitive neuroectodermal, eye field, and RGC marker expression were monitored with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), immunocytochemistry, and/or flow cytometry. Results Upon retinal differentiation, a large fraction of the cells developed characteristics of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) in response to simulated environment signaling (DKK1+Noggin+Lefty A), which was selectively recovered with manual isolation approaches and then maintained in the presence of mitogen for multiple passages. Thereafter, overexpression of ATOH7 further promoted RGC specification in TiPSC-derived RPCs. A subset of transfected cells displayed RGC-specific expression patterns, including Brn3b, iSlet1, calretinin, and Tuj, and approximately 23% of Brn3b-positive RGC-like cells were obtained finally. Conclusions Our DKK1+Noggin+Lefty A/Atoh7-based RGC-induction regime could efficiently direct TiPSCs to differentiate along RGC lineage in a stage-specific manner, which may provide a benefit to develop possible cell therapies to treat retinal degenerative diseases such as glaucoma. PMID:27293372
Fadhel, Muhannad N; Berndl, Elizabeth S L; Strohm, Eric M; Kolios, Michael C
Variations in the acoustic impedance throughout cells and tissue can be used to gain insight into cellular microstructures and the physiologic state of the cell. Ultrasound imaging can be used to create a map of the acoustic impedance, on which fluctuations can be used to help identify the dominant ultrasound scattering source in cells, providing information for ultrasound tissue characterization. The physiologic state of a cell can be inferred from the average acoustic impedance values, as many cellular physiologic changes are linked to an alteration in their mechanical properties. A recently proposed method, acoustic impedance imaging, has been used to measure the acoustic impedance maps of biological tissues, but the method has not been used to characterize individual cells. Using this method to image cells can result in more precise acoustic impedance maps of cells than obtained previously using time-resolved acoustic microscopy. We employed an acoustic microscope using a transducer with a center frequency of 375 MHz to calculate the acoustic impedance of normal (MCF-10 A) and cancerous (MCF-7) breast cells. The generated acoustic impedance maps and simulations suggest that the position of the nucleus with respect to the polystyrene substrate may have an effect on the measured acoustic impedance value of the cell. Fluorescence microscopy and confocal microscopy were used to correlate acoustic impedance images with the position of the nucleus within the cell. The average acoustic impedance statistically differed between normal and cancerous breast cells (1.636 ± 0.010 MRayl vs. 1.612 ± 0.006 MRayl), indicating that acoustic impedance could be used to differentiate between normal and cancerous cells.
Yamada, T; Endoh, T; Suzuki, T
Both substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA) are known as neurotransmitters of the submandibular ganglion (SMG) neurons. SP released from collaterals of the sensory nerves also regulates the excitability of SMG neurons. It has recently been shown that neurokinins (NK) inhibit calcium channels in various neurons. In this study, the effects of NK on voltage-dependent calcium channel current (I(Ca)) in SMG cells were investigated using the whole-cell patch-clamp recording method. NK-1 receptor agonist and SP caused inhibition of I(Ca) in SMG cells in a dose-dependent manner. NK-1 receptor agonist inhibited L-, N- and P/Q-type I(Ca) components. GDP-beta-S included in the pipette solution reduced the NK-1 receptor agonist-induced inhibition of I(Ca). In addition, NK-1 receptor agonist-induced inhibition of I(Ca) was reduced by stimulation of protein kinase C (PKC) but not cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). The results provided evidence for a signal transduction pathway in which calcium channel inhibition by NK receptors required activation of G-protein and PKC-affected step phosphorylation in SMG neurons.
Liu, Xiaorong; Robinson, Michael L.; Schreiber, Ann Marie; Wu, Vincent; LaVail, Matthew M.; Cang, Jianhua; Copenhagen, David R.
The morphology of dendrites constrains and reflects the nature of synaptic inputs to neurons. The visual system has served as a useful model to show how visual function is determined by the arborization patterns of neuronal processes. In retina, light ON and light OFF responding ganglion cells selectively elaborate their dendritic arbors in distinct sublamina, where they receive, respectively, inputs from ON and OFF bipolar cells. During neonatal maturation, the bi-laminarly distributed dendritic arbors of ON-OFF RGCs are refined to more narrowly localized monolaminar structures characteristic of ON or OFF RGCs. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to regulate this laminar refinement, and, additionally, to enhance the development of dendritic branches selectively of ON RGCs. Although other related neurotrophins are known to regulate neuronal process formation in the central nervous system, little is known about their action in maturing retina. Here, we report that overexpression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in the eye accelerates RGC laminar refinement before eye opening. Furthermore, NT-3 overexpression increases dendritic branch number but reduces dendritic elongation preferentially in ON-OFF RGCs, a process that also occurs before eye opening. NT-3 overexpression does affect dendritic maturation in ON RGCs, but to a much less degree. Taken together, our results suggest that NT-3 and BDNF exhibit overlapping effects in laminar refinement but distinct RGC-cell-type specific effects in shaping dendritic arborization during postnatal development. PMID:19350645
Cerquera, Alexander; Freund, Jan
We explore how the reconstruction efficiency of fast spike population codes varies with population size, population composition and code complexity. Our study is based on experiments with moving light patterns which are projected onto the isolated retina of a turtle Pseudemys scripta elegans. The stimulus features to reconstruct are sequences of velocities kept constant throughout segments of 500 ms. The reconstruction is based on the spikes of a retinal ganglion cell (RGC) population recorded extracellularly via a multielectrode array. Subsequent spike sorting yields the parallel spike trains of 107 RGCs as input to the reconstruction method, here a discriminant analysis trained and tested in jack-knife fashion. Motivated by behavioral response times, we concentrate on fast reconstruction, i.e., within 150 ms following a trigger event defined via significant changes of the population spike rate. Therefore, valid codes involve only few (≤3) spikes per cell. Using only the latency t(1) of each cell (with reference to the trigger event) corresponds to the most parsimonious population code considered. We evaluate the gain in reconstruction efficiency when supplementing t(1) by spike times t(2) and t(3). Furthermore, we investigate whether sub-populations of smaller size benefit significantly from a selection process or whether random compilations are equally efficient. As selection criteria we try different concepts (directionality, reliability, and discriminability). Finally, we discuss the implications of a selection process and its inter-relation with code complexity for optimized reconstruction.
Ivanov, Dmitry; Dvoriantchikova, Galina; Barakat, David J.; Nathanson, Lubov; Shestopalov, Valery I.
Different sub-populations of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) vary in their sensitivity to pathological conditions such as retinal ischemia, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Comparative transcriptomic analysis of such groups will likely reveal molecular determinants of differential sensitivity to stress. However, gene expression profiling of primary neuronal sub-populations represent a challenge due to the cellular heterogeneity of retinal tissue. In this manuscript, we report the use of a fluorescent neural tracer to specifically label and selectively isolate RGCs with different soma sizes by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) for the purpose of differential gene expression profiling. We identified 145 genes that were more active in the large RGCs and 312 genes in the small RGCs. Differential data were validated by quantitative RT-PCR, several corresponding proteins were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Functional characterization revealed differential activity of genes implicated in synaptic transmission, neurotransmitter secretion, axon guidance, chemotaxis, ion transport and tolerance to stress. An in silico reconstruction of cellular networks suggested that differences in pathway activity between the two sub-populations of RGCs are controlled by networks interconnected by SP-1, Erk2(MAPK1), Egr1, Egr2 and, potentially, regulated via transcription factors C/EBPbeta, HSF1, STAT1- and c-Myc. The results show that FACS-aided purification of retrogradely labeled cells can be effectively utilized for transcriptional profiling of adult retinal neurons. PMID:18640154
Park, H-Y Lopilly; Kim, J H; Park, C K
Autophagy is reported to have important roles in relation to regulated cell death pathways and neurodegeneration. This study used chronic hypertensive glaucoma rat model to investigate whether the autophagy pathway has a role in the apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after chronic intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. Under electron microscopy, autophagosomes were markedly accumulated in the dendrites and cytoplasm of RGCs after IOP elevation. Western blot analysis showed that LC3-II/LC3-I and beclin-1 were upregulated throughout the 8-weeks period after IOP elevation. The pattern of LC3 immunostaining showed autophagy activation in the cytoplasm of RGCs to increase and peak at 4 weeks after IOP elevation. Most of these LC3B-positive RGCs underwent apoptosis by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated biotinylated UTP nick end labeling, and inhibition of autophagy with 3-methyladenine decreased RGC apoptosis. The activated pattern shows that autophagy is initially activated in the dendrites of the RGCs, but, thereafter autophagy is mainly activated in the cytoplasm of RGCs. This may show that autophagy is differently regulated in different compartments of the neuron. This present study showed that autophgy is activated in RGCs and has a role in autophagic cell death after chronic IOP elevation. PMID:22476098
Jakobs, Tatjana C; Koizumi, Amane; Masland, Richard H
The spatial pattern of excitatory glutamatergic input was visualized in a large series of ganglion cells of the rabbit retina, by using particle-mediated gene transfer of an expression plasmid for postsynaptic density 95-green fluorescent protein (PSD95-GFP). PSD95-GFP was confirmed as a marker of excitatory input by co-localization with synaptic ribbons (RIBEYE and kinesin II) and glutamate receptor subunits. Despite wide variation in the size, morphology, and functional complexity of the cells, the distribution of excitatory synaptic inputs followed a single set of rules: 1) the linear density of synaptic inputs (PSD95 sites/linear mum) varied surprisingly little and showed little specialization within the arbor; 2) the total density of excitatory inputs across individual arbors peaked in a ring-shaped region surrounding the soma, which is in accord with high-resolution maps of receptive field sensitivity in the rabbit; and 3) the areal density scaled inversely with the total area of the dendritic arbor, so that narrow dendritic arbors receive more synapses per unit area than large ones. To achieve sensitivity comparable to that of large cells, those that report upon a small region of visual space may need to receive a denser synaptic input from within that space.
Arroyo, David A.; Kirkby, Lowry A.
Before the maturation of rod and cone photoreceptors, the developing retina relies on light detection by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) to drive early light-dependent behaviors. ipRGCs are output neurons of the retina; however, they also form functional microcircuits within the retina itself. Whether ipRGC microcircuits exist during development and whether they influence early light detection remain unknown. Here, we investigate the neural circuit that underlies the ipRGC-driven light response in developing mice. We use a combination of calcium imaging, tracer coupling, and electrophysiology experiments to show that ipRGCs form extensive gap junction networks that strongly contribute to the overall light response of the developing retina. Interestingly, we found that gap junction coupling was modulated by spontaneous retinal waves, such that acute blockade of waves dramatically increased the extent of coupling and hence increased the number of light-responsive neurons. Moreover, using an optical sensor, we found that this wave-dependent modulation of coupling is driven by dopamine that is phasically released by retinal waves. Our results demonstrate that ipRGCs form gap junction microcircuits during development that are modulated by retinal waves; these circuits determine the extent of the light response and thus potentially impact the processing of early visual information and light-dependent developmental functions. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Light-dependent functions in early development are mediated by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Here we show that ipRGCs form an extensive gap junction network with other retinal neurons, including other ipRGCs, which shapes the retina's overall light response. Blocking cholinergic retinal waves, which are the primary source of neural activity before maturation of photoreceptors, increased the extent of ipRGC gap junction networks, thus increasing the number of light
Pushchin, Igor I; Karetin, Yuriy A
The topography and morphology of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the eastern newt were studied. Cells were retrogradely labeled with tetramethylrhodamine-conjugated dextran amines or horseradish peroxidase and examined in retinal wholemounts. Their total number was 18,025 +/- 3,602 (mean +/- SEM). The spatial density of RGCs varied from 2,100 cells/mm(2) in the retinal periphery to 4,500 cells/mm(2) in the dorsotemporal retina. No prominent retinal specializations were found. The spatial resolution estimated from the spatial density of RGCs varied from 1.4 cycles per degree in the periphery to 1.95 cycles per degree in the region of the peak RGC density. A sample of 68 cells was camera lucida drawn and subjected to quantitative analysis. A total of 21 parameters related to RGC morphology and stratification in the retina were estimated. Partitionings obtained by using different clustering algorithms combined with automatic variable weighting and dimensionality reduction techniques were compared, and an effective solution was found by using silhouette analysis. A total of seven clusters were identified and associated with potential cell types. Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA-on-Ranks with post hoc Mann-Whitney U tests showed significant pairwise between-cluster differences in one or more of the clustering variables. The average silhouette values of the clusters were reasonably high, ranging from 0.52 to 0.79. Cells assigned to the same cluster displayed similar morphology and stratification in the retina. The advantages and limitations of the methodology adopted are discussed. The present classification is compared with known morphological and physiological RGC classifications in other salamanders.
Mao, Chai-An; Cho, Jang-Hyeon; Wang, Jing; Gao, Zhiguang; Pan, Ping; Tsai, Wen-Wei; Frishman, Laura J; Klein, William H
The specification of the seven retinal cell types from a common pool of retina progenitor cells (RPCs) involves complex interactions between the intrinsic program and the environment. The proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional regulators are key components for the intrinsic programming of RPCs and are essential for the formation of the diverse retinal cell types. However, the extent to which an RPC can re-adjust its inherent program and the mechanisms through which the expression of a particular bHLH factor influences RPC fate is unclear. Previously, we have shown that Neurod1 inserted into the Atoh7 locus activates the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) program in Atoh7-expressing RPCs but not in Neurod1-expressing RPCs, suggesting that Atoh7-expressing RPCs are not able to adopt the cell fate determined by Neurod1, but rather are pre-programmed to produce RGCs. Here, we show that Neurod1-expressing RPCs, which are destined to produce amacrine and photoreceptor cells, can be re-programmed into RGCs when Atoh7 is inserted into the Neurod1 locus. These results suggest that Atoh7 acts dominantly to convert a RPC subpopulation not destined for an RGC fate to adopt that fate. Thus, Atoh7-expressing and Neurod1-expressing RPCs are intrinsically different in their behavior. Additionally, ChIP-Seq analysis identified an Atoh7-dependent enhancer within the intronic region of Nrxn3. The enhancer recognized and used Atoh7 in the developing retina to regulate expression of Nrxn3, but could be forced to use Neurod1 when placed in a different regulatory context. The results indicate that Atoh7 and Neurod1 activate distinct sets of genes in vivo, despite their common DNA-binding element.
Fu, M-S; Zhu, B-J; Luo, D-W
TNF-α has recently been identified to be a mediator of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, while glial cells are relatively protected against this death stimulus. Exposure of RGCs to TNF-α is thought to contribute to RGC apoptosis. Apigenin is a flavone with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that exists naturally in various plants and Chinese medicine. In our study, MTT assays showed that apigenin significantly inhibited the decrease of RGC viability induced by TNF-α in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment with apigenin prevented TNF-α-induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner as shown by flow cytometry. The production of ATP and the total oxygen uptake were also promoted after apigenin administration. TNF-α stimulation led to a significant reduction of bcl-2 and enhancement of bax, which was reversed by apigenin treatment. Apigenin treatment also alleviated the increased caspase-3 activity induced by TNF-α. Moreover, luciferase reporter assay indicated that apigenin dose-dependently decreased NF-κB activation induced by TNF-α, but had no significant effect on activation of AP-1. Collectively, these data demonstrated that apigenin alleviated TNF-α-induced apoptosis through inhibition of caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway and activation of nuclear factor-kappaB. Therefore, apigenin may be developed as an anti-apoptotic drug to treat retinopathy.
Cao, Yan; Wang, Liang; Zhao, Junhong; Zhang, Hongbing; Tian, Ying; Liang, Houcheng; Ma, Qiang
Serum response factor (SRF), which encodes the MADS-box family of related proteins, is a common transcription factor related to the expression of genes associated with cell survival. However, SRF's role in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) after high-glucose injury remains unclear. In this study, we investigate the protective role of SRF after high-glucose injury and its underlying mechanism. The in vitro RGC model subjected to high glucose was established by employing a 50 mmol/L glucose culture environment. As detected by real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot, SRF was significantly upregulated in RGCs treated with high glucose. Overexpression of SRF significantly promoted survival among RGCs exposed to high glucose and inhibited RGC apoptosis. Knockdown of SRF exerted an inverse effect. Moreover, SRF upregulation enhanced expression of an antioxidant protein, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2), via control of the Fos-related antigen 1 (Fra-1). SRF upregulation also affected RGC survival after high-glucose treatment. Our findings showed that overexpression of SRF promoted survival of RGCs after high-glucose injury by regulating Fra-1 and Nrf2.
Walch, Olivia J; Zhang, L Samantha; Reifler, Aaron N; Dolikian, Michael E; Forger, Daniel B; Wong, Kwoon Y
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) mediate both image-forming vision and non-image-forming visual responses such as pupillary constriction and circadian photoentrainment. Five types of ipRGCs, named M1-M5, have been discovered in rodents. To further investigate their photoresponse properties, we made multielectrode array spike recordings from rat ipRGCs, classified them into M1, M2/M4, and M3/M5 clusters, and measured their intrinsic, melanopsin-based responses to single and flickering light pulses. Results showed that ipRGC spiking can track flickers up to ∼0.2 Hz in frequency and that flicker intervals between 5 and 14 s evoke the most spikes. We also learned that melanopsin's integration time is intensity and cluster dependent. Using these data, we constructed a mathematical model for each cluster's intrinsic photoresponse. We found that the data for the M1 cluster are best fit by a model that assumes a large photoresponse, causing the cell to enter depolarization block. Our models also led us to hypothesize that the M2/M4 and M3/M5 clusters experience comparable photoexcitation but that the M3/M5 cascade decays significantly faster than the M2/M4 cascade, resulting in different response waveforms between these clusters. These mathematical models will help predict how each ipRGC cluster might respond to stimuli of any waveform and could inform the invention of lighting technologies that promote health through melanopsin stimulation.
Puyang, Zhen; Feng, Liang; Chen, Hui; Liang, Peiji; Troy, John B.; Liu, Xiaorong
The NLRP3 inflammasome, a sensor for a variety of pathogen- and host-derived threats, consists of the adaptor ASC (Apoptosis-associated Speck-like protein containing a Caspase Activation and Recruitment Domain (CARD)), pro-caspase-1, and NLRP3 (NOD-Like Receptor family Pyrin domain containing 3). NLRP3-induced neuroinflammation is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of eye diseases, but it remains unclear whether activation of NLRP3 inflammasome contributes to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death. Here we examined NLRP3-induced neuroinflammation and RGC survival following partial optic nerve crush (pONC) injury. We showed that NLRP3 was up-regulated in retinal microglial cells following pONC, propagating from the injury site to the optic nerve head and finally the entire retina within one day. Activation of NLRP3-ASC inflammasome led to the up-regulation of caspase-1 and a proinflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1β (IL-1β). In NLRP3 knockout mice, up-regulation of ASC, caspase-1, and IL-1β were all reduced, and, importantly, RGC and axon loss was substantially delayed following pONC injury. The average survival time of RGCs in NLRP3 knockout mice was about one week longer than for control animals. Taken together, our study demonstrated that ablating the NLRP3 gene significantly reduced neuroinflammation and delayed RGC loss after optic nerve crush injury. PMID:26893104
Cao, Dingcai; Lee, Barry B.; Sun, Hao
This study investigates how rod and cone inputs are combined in the magnocellular (MC) pathway in the mesopic luminance range, when both rods and cones are active. Responses of parafoveal MC ganglion cells from macaque retina were measured as a function of temporal frequency (0.62–20 Hz) or contrast (0.05–0.55) at mesopic light levels (0.2, 2, 20, and 200 td). Stimuli were of three modulation types: (1) isolated rod stimuli (only rod signals were modulated), (2) isolated cone stimuli (only cone luminance signals from long- and middle-wavelength sensitive cones were modulated), and (3) combined rod and cone stimuli (both rod and cone luminance signals were modulated in phase, as with conventional stimuli). The results showed that under mesopic conditions, the relative rod and cone inputs to the MC cells varied with light level and they are combined linearly prior to saturation. Further, rod contrast gain is relatively stable over the mesopic range while cone contrast gain increased with light level. Finally, the measured rod and cone inputs are consistent with the measured human temporal contrast sensitivity functions under comparable stimulation conditions. PMID:20884499
Park, Kevin K; Luo, Xueting; Mooney, Skyler J; Yungher, Benjamin J; Belin, Stephane; Wang, Chen; Holmes, Melissa M; He, Zhigang
In the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS), axonal damage often triggers neuronal cell death and glial activation, with very limited spontaneous axon regeneration. In this study, we performed optic nerve injury in adult naked mole-rats, the longest living rodent, with a maximum life span exceeding 30 years, and found that injury responses in this species are quite distinct from those in other mammalian species. In contrast to what is seen in other mammals, the majority of injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) survive with relatively high spontaneous axon regeneration. Furthermore, injured RGCs display activated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), whereas astrocytes in the optic nerve robustly occupy and fill the lesion area days after injury. These neuron-intrinsic and -extrinsic injury responses are reminiscent of those in "cold-blooded" animals, such as fish and amphibians, suggesting that the naked mole-rat is a powerful model for exploring the mechanisms of neuronal injury responses and axon regeneration in mammals. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:380-388, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
In an effort to understand the regulation of the transition of a mature neuron to the growth, or regenerating, state we have analyzed the composition of the axonally transported proteins in the retinal ganglion cells of the toad Bufo marinus after inducing axon regeneration by crushing the optic nerve. At increasing intervals after axotomy, we labeled the retinal ganglion cells with [35S]methionine and subsequently analyzed the labeled transported polypeptides in the crushed optic nerve by means of one- and two-dimensional electrophoretic techniques. The most significant conclusion from these experiments is that, while the transition from the mature to the regenerating state does not require a gross qualitative alteration in the composition of axonally transported proteins, the relative labeling of a small subset of rapidly transported proteins is altered dramatically (changes of more than 20-fold) and reproducibly (more than 30 animals) by axotomy. One of these growth-associated proteins (GAPs) was soluble in an aqueous buffer, while three were associated with a crude membrane fraction. The labeling of all three of the membrane- associated GAPs increased during the first 8 d after axotomy, and they continued to be labeled for at least 4 wk. The modulation of these proteins after axotomy is consistent with the possibility that they are involve in growth-specific functions and that the altered expression of a small number of genes is a crucial regulatory event in the transition of a mature neuron to a growth state. In addition to these selective changes in rapidly transported proteins, we observed the following more general metabolic correlates of the regeneration process: The total radioactive label associated with the most rapidly transported proteins (groups I and II) increased three to fourfold during the first 8 d after the nerve was crushed, while the total label associated with more slowly moving proteins (group IV) increased about 10-fold during this same
Tien, Nai-Wen; Pearson, James T.; Heller, Charles R.; Demas, Jay
Spike trains of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the sole source of visual information to the brain; and understanding how the ∼20 RGC types in mammalian retinae respond to diverse visual features and events is fundamental to understanding vision. Suppressed-by-contrast (SbC) RGCs stand apart from all other RGC types in that they reduce rather than increase firing rates in response to light increments (ON) and decrements (OFF). Here, we genetically identify and morphologically characterize SbC-RGCs in mice, and target them for patch-clamp recordings under two-photon guidance. We find that strong ON inhibition (glycine > GABA) outweighs weak ON excitation, and that inhibition (glycine > GABA) coincides with decreases in excitation at light OFF. These input patterns explain the suppressive spike responses of SbC-RGCs, which are observed in dim and bright light conditions. Inhibition to SbC-RGC is driven by rectified receptive field subunits, leading us to hypothesize that SbC-RGCs could signal pattern-independent changes in the retinal image. Indeed, we find that shifts of random textures matching saccade-like eye movements in mice elicit robust inhibitory inputs and suppress spiking of SbC-RGCs over a wide range of texture contrasts and spatial frequencies. Similarly, stimuli based on kinematic analyses of mouse blinking consistently suppress SbC-RGC spiking. Receiver operating characteristics show that SbC-RGCs are reliable indicators of self-generated visual stimuli that may contribute to central processing of blinks and saccades. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study genetically identifies and morphologically characterizes suppressed-by-contrast retinal ganglion cells (SbC-RGCs) in mice. Targeted patch-clamp recordings from SbC-RGCs under two-photon guidance elucidate the synaptic mechanisms mediating spike suppression to contrast steps, and reveal that SbC-RGCs respond reliably to stimuli mimicking saccade-like eye movements and blinks. The similarity of
Greif, Karen F.; Reichardt, Louis F.
Monoclonal antibodies directed against a neuronal cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan and against a synaptic vesicle protein were used to study the postnatal development of ganglionic neurons and synapses in the rat superior cervical ganglion. Antigen levels in developing ganglia were quantitated by radioimmune assays. Localization of antigens in adult and developing ganglia was carried out using peroxidase-antiperoxidase immunocytochemistry at the light microscopic level. Ultrastructural staining patterns in adult ganglia also were studied. The time course of antigen increases parallels those in previous reports on the accumulation of neurotransmitter enzymes within the ganglion. Both synaptic and surface antigens increase postnatally, with the most rapid changes occurring during the 2nd week. Antibodies stain adult tissue in patterns consistent with the expected distribution of antigens: antibodies directed against synaptic vesicles stain synaptic terminals and cell cytoplasm and those directed against surface proteoglycan stain the plasma membranes of neuronal cell bodies and processes. Variable staining of the cell cytoplasm also is observed. No apparent changes in antigen distribution are observed with the light microscope during development. Variations in the time course of the development of antigens associated with different portions of the proteoglycan molecule suggest that the intracellular processing of this molecule may vary during development. PMID:6212651
Chen, Guan-gui; Mao, Min; Qiu, Li-zi; Liu, Qi-ming
Polyethyleneimine-polyethylene glycol (PEI-PEG), a novel nanocarrier, has been used for transfection and gene therapy in a variety of cells. In our previous study, we successfully carried out PEI-PEG-mediated gene transfer in spiral ganglion cells. It remains unclear whether PEI-PEG could be used for gene therapy with X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) in the inner ear. In the present study, we performed PEI-PEG-mediated XIAP gene transfection in the cochlea of Sprague-Dawley rats, via scala tympani fenestration, before daily cisplatin injections. Auditory brainstem reflex tests demonstrated the protective effects of XIAP gene therapy on auditory function. Immunohistochemical staining revealed XIAP protein expression in the cytoplasm of cells in the spiral ganglion, the organ of Corti and the stria vascularis. Reverse transcription-PCR detected high levels of XIAP mRNA expression in the cochlea. The present findings suggest that PEI-PEG nanocarrier-mediated XIAP gene transfection results in XIAP expression in the cochlea, prevents damage to cochlear spiral ganglion cells, and protects hearing. PMID:25878591
Electrophysiological recordings were made from retinal ganglion cells in the macula (including fovea) of several species of Macaque monkeys. After exposure to high-intensity argon or HeNe lasers both above and below the lesion level, the receptive fields lacked a peripheral portion. This was accompanied by a slight increase in the central portion of the receptive field. Some quite large receptive fields were found around the fovea, often extending through it. The large receptive fields could also extend through the site of a laser lesion. No unsymmetrical changes in the receptive field were seen, even in receptive fields adjacent to, or partially within, a laser lesion site. Histological examination did not show any changes in the retinal organization adjacent to laser lesion even where the ganglion cells had center-only receptive fields.
Park, Joo Hyun; Kim, Yu Jeong; Park, Ki Ho
Purpose This study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effect of resveratrol in an optic nerve transection (ONT) model and to identify the neuroprotective mechanism of resveratrol in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Methods ONT and retrograde labeling were performed in Sprague-Dawley rats. Various concentrations of resveratrol were injected intravitreally immediately after ONT. The number of labeled RGCs was determined at 1 and 2 weeks after ONT. The effect of resveratrol and sirtinol (a sirtuin 1 inhibitor) co-injection was investigated. RGC-5 cells were cultured and treated with staurosporine to induce differentiation. 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was performed to evaluate the effect of resveratrol on RGC-5 cell survival under serum-free conditions. RGC-5 cells were cultured with sirtinol to investigate the neuroprotective mechanism of resveratrol. Results A dose–response relationship was observed between resveratrol and RGC survival. A single intravitreal injection of resveratrol was neuroprotective in RGCs at 1 week after ONT (p<0.01). Repeated intravitreal injection of resveratrol showed a neuroprotective effect at 2 weeks after ONT (p<0.01). However, co-injection of resveratrol and sirtinol diminished the neuroprotective effect of resveratrol (p<0.05). The neuroprotective effect of resveratrol was observed in RGC-5 cells under serum-free conditions, and sirtinol diminished this neuroprotective effect. Conclusions Resveratrol exerts its neuroprotective effect on RGCs via activation of the sirtuin 1 pathway in an ONT model. This finding demonstrates the therapeutic potential of resveratrol in treating optic nerve diseases. PMID:23901250
Henrich-Noack, Petra; Voigt, Nadine; Prilloff, Sylvia; Fedorov, Anton; Sabel, Bernhard A
Traumatic optic nerve injury leads to retrograde death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), but transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) can increase the cell survival rate. To understand the mechanisms and to further define the TES-induced effects we monitored in living animals RGC morphology and survival after optic nerve crush (ONC) in real time by using in vivo confocal neuroimaging (ICON) of the retina. ONC was performed in rats and ICON was performed before crush and on post-lesion days 3, 7 and 15 which allowed us to repeatedly record RGC number and size. TES or sham-stimulation were performed immediately after the crush and on post-injury day 11. Three days after ONC we detected a higher percentage of surviving RGCs in the TES group as compared to sham-treated controls. However, the difference was below significance level on day 7 and disappeared completely by day 15. The death rate was more variable amongst the TES-treated rats than in the control group. Morphological analysis revealed that average cell size changed significantly in the control group but not in stimulated animals and the morphological alterations of surviving neurons were smaller in TES-treated compared to control cells. In conclusion, TES delays post-traumatic cell death significantly. Moreover, we found "responder animals" which also benefited in the long-term from the treatment. Our in vivo cellular imaging results provide evidence that TES reduces ONC-associated neuronal swelling and shrinkage especially in RGCs which survived long-term. Further studies are now needed to determine the differences of responders vs. non-responders.
Reifler, Aaron N.; Chervenak, Andrew P.; Dolikian, Michael E.; Benenati, Brian A.; Meyers, Benjamin S.; Demertzis, Zachary D.; Lynch, Andrew M.; Li, Benjamin Y.; Wachter, Rebecca D.; Abufarha, Fady S.; Dulka, Eden A.; Pack, Weston; Zhao, Xiwu; Wong, Kwoon Y.
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are inner retinal photoreceptors that mediate non-image-forming visual functions, e.g. pupillary constriction, regulation of pineal melatonin release, and circadian photoentrainment. Five types of ipRGCs were recently discovered in mouse, but whether they exist in other mammals remained unknown. We report that the rat also has five types of ipRGCs, whose morphologies match those of mouse ipRGCs; this is the first demonstration of all five cell types in a non-mouse species. Through immunostaining and λmax measurements, we showed that melanopsin is likely the photopigment of all rat ipRGCs. The various cell types exhibited diverse spontaneous spike rates, with the M1 type spiking the least and M4 spiking the most, just like we had observed for their mouse counterparts. Also similar to mouse, all ipRGCs in rat generated not only sluggish intrinsic photoresponses but also fast, synaptically driven ones. However, we noticed two significant differences between these species. First, whereas we learned previously that all mouse ipRGCs had equally sustained synaptic light responses, rat M1 cells’ synaptic photoresponses were far more transient than those of M2–M5. Since M1 cells provide all input to the circadian clock, this rat-versus-mouse discrepancy could explain the difference in photoentrainment threshold between mouse and other species. Second, rat ipRGCs’ melanopsin-based spiking photoresponses could be classified into three varieties, but only two were discerned for mouse ipRGCs. This correlation of spiking photoresponses with cell types will help researchers classify ipRGCs in multielectrode-array (MEA) spike recordings. PMID:25450063
Zhao, Xiwu; Reifler, Aaron N; Schroeder, Melanie M; Jaeckel, Elizabeth R; Chervenak, Andrew P; Wong, Kwoon Y
Retinal neurons use sustained and transient light responses to encode visual stimuli of different frequency ranges, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In particular, although earlier studies in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) proposed seven potential mechanisms, all seven have since been disputed, and it remains unknown whether different RGC types use different mechanisms or how many mechanisms are used by each type. Here, we conduct a comprehensive survey in mice and rats of 12 candidate mechanisms that could conceivably produce tonic rod/cone-driven ON responses in intrinsically photosensitive RGCs (ipRGCs) and transient ON responses in three types of direction-selective RGCs (TRHR+, Hoxd10+ ON, and Hoxd10+ ON-OFF cells). We find that the tonic kinetics of ipRGCs arises from their substantially above-threshold resting potentials, input from sustained ON bipolar cells, absence of amacrine cell inhibition of presynaptic ON bipolar cells, and mGluR7-mediated maintenance of light-evoked glutamatergic input. All three types of direction-selective RGCs receive input from transient ON bipolar cells, and each type uses additional strategies to promote photoresponse transience: presynaptic inhibition and dopaminergic modulation for TRHR+ cells, center/surround antagonism and relatively negative resting potentials for Hoxd10+ ON cells, and presynaptic inhibition for Hoxd10+ ON-OFF cells. We find that the sustained nature of ipRGCs' rod/cone-driven responses depends neither on melanopsin nor on N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, whereas the transience of the direction-selective cells' responses is influenced neither by α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptor desensitization nor by glutamate uptake. For all cells, we further rule out spike frequency adaptation and intracellular Ca(2+) as determinants of photoresponse kinetics. In conclusion, different RGC types use diverse mechanisms to produce sustained or
Kaiser, P K; Lee, B B; Martin, P R; Valberg, A
1. The minimally distinct border method involves setting the relative radiances of two adjacent, differently coloured fields until the border between them is minimally distinct. At these radiance settings, the two fields are found to be of equal luminance. The task shares with flicker photometry all the requirements of a photometric method. 2. We have recorded responses of macaque ganglion cells to such borders moved back and forth across the receptive field; the size of the luminance step across the border was systematically varied. 3. Phasic ganglion cells gave transient responses to such borders, consisting of an increase or decrease in firing rate depending on direction of luminance contrast and cell type (on- or off-centre). Tonic ganglion cells gave sustained responses dependent on chromatic contrast across the border. 4. An analysis of phasic cell responses showed a minimum near equal luminance, suggesting their signal could readily support the minimally distinct border task. We could not devise a scheme whereby tonic cells could support the task. 5. Spectral sensitivity of phasic cells, determined from their minima, closely resembled the 10 deg luminous efficiency function, as required of a mechanism underlying the psychophysical performance. 6. For phasic cells, the minimum was independent of movement speed, and hence of eye movement velocity under natural viewing conditions. 7. Proportionality, additivity and transitivity are found psychophysically with the minimally distinct border method. All these properties were also exhibited by phasic cell responses. 8. Residual responses were present in individual phasic cells to equal-luminance borders, probably due to a non-linearity of M- and L-cone summation. The amplitude of residual response depended on the wavelengths on either side of the border, and was zero for pairs of lights lying along a tritanopic confusion line. These residual responses could be correlated with residual border distinctness at equal
Hadjinicolaou, Alex E; Leung, Ronald T; Garrett, David J; Ganesan, Kumaravelu; Fox, Kate; Nayagam, David A X; Shivdasani, Mohit N; Meffin, Hamish; Ibbotson, Michael R; Prawer, Steven; O'Brien, Brendan J
Electronic retinal implants for the blind are already a market reality. A world wide effort is underway to find the technology that offers the best combination of performance and safety for potential patients. Our approach is to construct an epi-retinally targeted device entirely encapsulated in diamond to maximise longevity and biocompatibility. The stimulating array of our device comprises a monolith of electrically insulating diamond with thousands of hermetic, microscale nitrogen doped ultra-nanocrystalline diamond (N-UNCD) feedthroughs. Here we seek to establish whether the conducting diamond feedthroughs of the array can be used as stimulating electrodes without further modification with a more traditional neural stimulation material. Efficacious stimulation of retinal ganglion cells was established using single N-UNCD microelectrodes in contact with perfused, explanted, rat retina. Evoked rat retinal ganglion cell action potentials were recorded by patch clamp recording from single ganglion cells, adjacent to the N-UNCD stimulating electrode. Separately, excellent electrochemical stability of N-UNCD was established by prolonged pulsing in phosphate buffered saline at increasing charge density up to the measured charge injection limit for the material.
Picones, Arturo; Chung, S Clare; Korenbrot, Juan I
We investigated the electrotonic and anatomical features of the dendritic arbor in developing retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Cell anatomy was studied by filling individual cells with fluorescent, membrane-bound dyes and using computer-assisted image reconstruction. Electrotonic properties were characterized through an analysis of charging membrane currents measured with tight-seal electrodes in the whole-cell mode. We studied developing RGCs in the peripheral growth zone (PGZ) of a fish retina. The PGZ presents a developmental time-line ranging from pluripotent, proliferating cells at the extreme edge, to mature, fully developed retina more centrally. In the PGZ, RGCs mature through three histologically distinct zones (in developmental sequence): bulge, transition and mature zones. In the most peripheral three-quarters of the bulge zone, cells have rounded somas, lack dendritic extensions and some are coupled so that membrane-bound dyes traverse from one cell to its immediate neighbours. In the more central quarter of the bulge, cells' dendrites are few, short and of limited branching. In the transition zone dendritic arbors becomes progressively more expansive and branched and we present a morphometric analysis of these changes. Regardless of the size and branching pattern of the developing RGC dendritic arbor, the ratio of the diameters of parent and progeny dendrites at any branching nodes is well described by Rall's 3/2 power law. Given this anatomical feature, the RGC passive electrical properties are well described by an equivalent electrical circuit consisting of an isopotential cell body in parallel with a single equivalent cylinder of finite length. We measured the values of the electrical parameters that define this equivalent circuit in bulge, transition and mature RGCs. As RGCs develop the electrical properties of their dendritic arbor change in an orderly and tightly regulated manner, not randomly. Electrically, dendritic arbors develop along either of
Kwon, Byung-Jin; Jung, Jin-Young; Lee, Dooho; Park, Kwang-Chun; Oh, Il-Kwon
We propose a new class of acoustic waveguides with tunable bandgaps (TBs) by using vibro-acoustic metamaterials with shunted periodic piezoelectric unit cells. The unit metamaterial cells that consist of a single crystal piezoelectric transducer and an electrical shunt circuit are designed to induce a strong vibro-acousto-electrical coupling, resulting in a tunable acoustic bandgap as well as local structural resonance and Bragg scattering bandgaps. The present results show that the TB frequency can be actively controlled and the transmission loss of the acoustic wave can be greatly improved by simply changing the inductance values in the shunt circuit.
Programmed cell death or apoptosis is a common and widespread phenomenon that is important for proper development of the nervous system. In the adult CNS, however, apoptosis contributes to secondary cell loss after various types of lesions. The retino-tectal system has been successfully used as a convenient model system to study the molecular mechanisms of neuronal apoptosis and survival during development and in the lesioned adult CNS. This review describes the current knowledge about the interactions of cell death and survival pathways in general and for retinal ganglion cells specifically.
Wang, Jing; Jacoby, Roy; Wu, Samuel M.
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate visual information from the retina and transmit collective signals to the brain. A systematic investigation of functional and morphological characteristics of various types of RGCs is important to comprehensively understand how the visual system encodes and transmits information via various RGC pathways. This study evaluated both physiological and morphological properties of 67 RGCs in dark-adapted flat-mounted salamander retina by examining light-evoked cation and chloride current responses via voltage-clamp recordings and visualizing morphology by Lucifer yellow fluorescence with a confocal microscope. Six groups of RGCs were described: asymmetrical ON–OFF RGCs, symmetrical ON RGCs, OFF RGCs, and narrow-, medium- and wide-field ON–OFF RGCs. Dendritic field diameters of RGCs ranged 102–490 µm: narrow field (<200 µm, 31% of RGCs), medium field (200–300 µm, 45%) and wide field (>300 µm, 24%). Dendritic ramification patterns of RGCs agree with the sub-lamina A/B rule. 34% of RGCs were monostratified, 24% bistratified and 42% diffusely stratified. 70% of ON RGCs and OFF RGCs were monostratified. Wide-field RGCs were diffusely stratified. 82% of RGCs generated light-evoked ON–OFF responses, while 11% generated ON responses and 7% OFF responses. Response sensitivity analysis suggested that some RGCs obtained separated rod/cone bipolar cell inputs whereas others obtained mixed bipolar cell inputs. 25% of neurons in the RGC layer were displaced amacrine cells. Although more types may be defined by more refined classification criteria, this report is to incorporate more physiological properties into RGC classification. PMID:26731645
Wang, Jing; Jacoby, Roy; Wu, Samuel M
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) integrate visual information from the retina and transmit collective signals to the brain. A systematic investigation of functional and morphological characteristics of various types of RGCs is important to comprehensively understand how the visual system encodes and transmits information via various RGC pathways. This study evaluated both physiological and morphological properties of 67 RGCs in dark-adapted flat-mounted salamander retina by examining light-evoked cation and chloride current responses via voltage-clamp recordings and visualizing morphology by Lucifer yellow fluorescence with a confocal microscope. Six groups of RGCs were described: asymmetrical ON-OFF RGCs, symmetrical ON RGCs, OFF RGCs, and narrow-, medium- and wide-field ON-OFF RGCs. Dendritic field diameters of RGCs ranged 102-490 μm: narrow field (<200 μm, 31% of RGCs), medium field (200-300 μm, 45%) and wide field (>300 μm, 24%). Dendritic ramification patterns of RGCs agree with the sublamina A/B rule. 34% of RGCs were monostratified, 24% bistratified and 42% diffusely stratified. 70% of ON RGCs and OFF RGCs were monostratified. Wide-field RGCs were diffusely stratified. 82% of RGCs generated light-evoked ON-OFF responses, while 11% generated ON responses and 7% OFF responses. Response sensitivity analysis suggested that some RGCs obtained separated rod/cone bipolar cell inputs whereas others obtained mixed bipolar cell inputs. 25% of neurons in the RGC layer were displaced amacrine cells. Although more types may be defined by more refined classification criteria, this report is to incorporate more physiological properties into RGC classification.
Cherkas, Pavel S; Huang, Tian-Ying; Pannicke, Thomas; Tal, Michael; Reichenbach, Andreas; Hanani, Menachem
Damage to peripheral nerves induces ectopic firing in sensory neurons, which can contribute to neuropathic pain. As most of the information on this topic is on dorsal root ganglia we decided to examine the influence of infra-orbital nerve section on cells of murine trigeminal ganglia. We characterized the electrophysiological properties of neurons with intracellular electrodes. Changes in the coupling of satellite glial cells (SGCs) were monitored by intracelluar injection of the fluorescent dye Lucifer yellow. Electrophysiology of SGCs was studied with the patch-clamp technique. Six to eight days after axotomy, the percentage of neurons that fire spontaneously increased from 1.6 to 12.8%, the membrane depolarized from -51.1 to -45.5 mV, the percentage of cells with spontaneous potential oscillations increased from 19 to 37%, the membrane input resistance decreased from 44.4 to 39.5 MOmega, and the threshold for firing an action potential decreased from 0.61 to 0.42 nA. These changes are consistent with increased neuronal excitability. SGCs were mutually coupled around a given neuron in 21% of the cases, and to SGCs around neighboring neurons in only 4.8% of the cases. After axotomy these values increased to 37.1 and 25.8%, respectively. After axotomy the membrane resistance of SGCs decreased from 101 MOmega in controls to 40 MOmega, possibly due to increased coupling among these cells. We conclude that axotomy affects both neurons and SGCs in the trigeminal ganglion. The increased neuronal excitability and ectopic firing may play a major role in neuropathic pain.
Chang, L; He, S
Adaptation is an important process of sensory systems to adjust sensitivity to ensure the appropriate information encoding. Sensitivity and kinetics of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses have been studied extensively using a brief flash superimposed on different but steady backgrounds. However, it is still unclear if light adaptation exerts any effect on more complex response properties, such as response nonlinearity. In this study, we found that the latency of spike responses to a repeated flashing spot stimulation increased by 30 ms in the mouse ON α RGCs (An ON-type RGC is excited when a spot is turned on in the center of its receptive field). A single dimming event preceding the test flash on a steady adapting background could also produce similar effect in increasing latency of light responses. A simple computational model with a linear transformation of the light stimulus and a threshold-like nonlinearity could account for the experimental data. Moreover, the strength of the measured nonlinearity and the response latency were affected by the duration of light adaptation. The possible biological processes underlying this nonlinearity were explored. Voltage clamp recording revealed the presence of the increase in latency and threshold-like nonlinearity in the excitatory input of RGCs. However, no comparable nonlinearity was observed in the light responses of the ON cone bipolar cells. We further excluded GABAergic and glycinergic inhibition, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor rectification and voltage-gated Na(+) channels as potential sources of this nonlinearity by pharmacological experiments. Our results indicate the bipolar cell terminals as the potential site of nonlinearity. Computational modeling constrained by experimental data supports that conclusion and suggests the voltage-sensitive Ca(++) channels and Ca(++)-dependent vesicle release in the bipolar cell terminals as mechanistic basis.
Paudel, Sharada; Kim, Yeoun-Hee; Huh, Man-Il; Kim, Song-Ja; Chang, Yongmin; Park, Young Jeung; Lee, Kyoo Won; Jung, Jae-Chang
Here, we examined the role of ADAM10 during retinal cell differentiation in retinal sections and in vitro cultures of developing chick retinal cells from embryonic day 6 (ED6). Immunohistochemistry showed that ADAM10 is abundantly expressed in the inner zone of neuroblastic layer at ED5, and it becomes more highly expressed in the ganglion cell layer at ED7 and ED9. Western blotting confirmed that ADAM10 was expressed as an inactive pro-form that was processed to a shorter, active form in control cultured cells, but in cultures treated with an ADAM10 inhibitor (GI254023X) and ADAM10-specific siRNA, the level of mature ADAM10 decreased. Phase-contrast microscopy showed that long neurite extensions were present in untreated cultures 24 h after plating, whereas cultures treated with GI254023X showed significant decreases in neurite extension. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that there were far fewer differentiated ganglion cells in ADAM10 siRNA and GI254023X-treated cultures compared to controls, whereas the photoreceptor cells were unaltered. The Pax6 protein was more strongly detected in the differentiated ganglion cells of control cultures compared to ADAM10 siRNA and GI254023X-treated cultures. N-cadherin ectodomain shedding was apparent in control cultures after 24 h, when ganglion cell differentiation was observed, but ADAM10 siRNA and GI254023X treatment inhibited these processes. In contrast, N-cadherin staining was strongly detected in photoreceptor cells regardless of ADAM10 siRNA and GI254023X treatment. Taken together, these data indicate that the inhibition of ADAM10 can inhibit Pax6 expression and N-cadherin ectodomain shedding in retinal cells, possibly affecting neurite outgrowth and ganglion cell differentiation.
Hilgen, Gerrit; Pirmoradian, Sahar; Pamplona, Daniela; Kornprobst, Pierre; Cessac, Bruno; Hennig, Matthias H.; Sernagor, Evelyne
We have investigated the ontogeny of light-driven responses in mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Using a large-scale, high-density multielectrode array, we recorded from hundreds to thousands of RGCs simultaneously at pan-retinal level, including dorsal and ventral locations. Responses to different contrasts not only revealed a complex developmental profile for ON, OFF and ON-OFF responses, but also unveiled differences between dorsal and ventral RGC responses. At eye-opening, dorsal RGCs of all types were more responsive to light, perhaps indicating an environmental priority to nest viewing for pre-weaning pups. The developmental profile of ON and OFF responses exhibited antagonistic behaviour, with the strongest ON responses shortly after eye-opening, followed by an increase in the strength of OFF responses later on. Further, we found that with maturation receptive field (RF) center sizes decrease, spike-triggered averaged responses to white noise become stronger, and centers become more circular while maintaining differences between RGC types. We conclude that the maturation of retinal functionality is not spatially homogeneous, likely reflecting ecological requirements that favour earlier maturation of the dorsal retina. PMID:28186129
Ma, Y T; Hsieh, T; Forbes, M E; Johnson, J E; Frost, D O
The role of neurotrophins as survival factors for developing CNS neurons, including retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), is uncertain. Null mutations for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) or neurotrophin 4 (NT4), individually or together, are without apparent effect on the number of RGCs that survive beyond the period of normal, developmental RGC death. This contrasts with the BDNF dependence of RGCs in vitro and the effectiveness of BDNF in reducing RGC loss after axotomy. To investigate the effect of target-derived neurotrophins on the survival of developing RGCs, we injected BDNF into the superior colliculus (SC) of neonatal hamsters. At the age when the rate of developmental RGC death is greatest, BDNF produces, 20 hr after injection, a 13-15-fold reduction in the rate of RGC pyknosis compared with the rates in vehicle-injected and untreated hamsters. There is no effect 8 hr after injection. Electrochemiluminescence immunoassay measurements of BDNF protein in the retinae and SC of normal and BDNF-treated hamsters demonstrate that the time course of BDNF transport to RGCs supports a role for target-derived BDNF in promoting RGC survival. The effectiveness of pharmacological doses of BDNF in reducing developmental RGC death may be useful in further studies of the mechanisms of stabilization and elimination of immature central neurons.
Xiao, Lei; Gong, Han-Yan; Gong, Hai-Qing; Liang, Pei-Ji; Zhang, Pu-Ming
The visual stimulus statistics are the fundamental parameters to provide the reference for studying visual coding rules. In this study, the multi-electrode extracellular recording experiments were designed and implemented on bullfrog retinal ganglion cells to explore the neural response properties to the changes in stimulus statistics. The changes in low-order stimulus statistics, such as intensity and contrast, were clearly reflected in the neuronal firing rate. However, it was difficult to distinguish the changes in high-order statistics, such as skewness and kurtosis, only based on the neuronal firing rate. The neuronal temporal filtering and sensitivity characteristics were further analyzed. We observed that the peak-to-peak amplitude of the temporal filter and the neuronal sensitivity, which were obtained from either neuronal ON spikes or OFF spikes, could exhibit significant changes when the high-order stimulus statistics were changed. These results indicate that in the retina, the neuronal response properties may be reliable and powerful in carrying some complex and subtle visual information.
Osborne, Neville N; Núñez-Álvarez, Claudia; Del Olmo-Aguado, Susana
The retina is the only part of the central nervous system that is exposed to light radiation between 400 and 780 nm. Short wavelength light (SWL) ranging between 400 and 480 nm are absorbed maximally by chromophores located in mitochondria. An abundance of mitochondria are located in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) intraocular axons and photoreceptor inner segments and as a consequence SWL will impact these organelles. The purpose of this article is to summarise the experimental evidence for the possible negative effects of SWL on RGC mitochondria, in situ. The threat of damage to photoreceptor mitochondria may be less than to RGCs, since macular carotenoid, located chiefly in Henle's layer of the photoreceptor inner segment absorbs SWL. The article underlines the hypothesis that SWL contributes to RGC death when these neurones are not in an optimum homoeostatic state as is likely to occur in conditions such as glaucoma and possibly other types of pathologies and even old age. A case therefore exists for the idea that shielding RGCs to slow down visual loss in certain circumstances. This can theoretically be achieved with lenses that reduce transmission of SWL but specifically allow for maximal transmission of 479 nm light to stimulate melanopsin and maintain an optimum sleep/wake cycle.
Park, D J; Senok, S S; Goo, Y S
It is known that with retinal degeneration there is rewiring of retinal networks. Consequently, electrical stimulation of the degenerating retina produces responses that differ according to the stage of retinal degeneration. We sought to delineate a degeneration stage-specific parameter for the response pattern of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) spikes as a strategy for stage-specific electrical stimulation for perceptual efficiency of prosthetic vision devices. Electrically-evoked RGC spikes were recorded at different degeneration stages in the rd10 mouse model for human retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Retinal explants mounted on an 8×8 multi-electrode array were stimulated by applying 1 Hz cathodic-phase first biphasic current pulses. RGC firing rate during the first 100 ms post-stimulus was compared to that during the 100-1000 ms period and a response ratio of 100 ms (RR100 ms) was calculated through the different postnatal weeks. Our results show that during post-stimulus 100-1000 ms, the degree of correlation between pulse amplitude and evoked RGC spikes drastically decreases at PNW 4.5. This pattern was closely matched by the RR100 ms curve at this stage. We conclude that the RR100 ms might be a good indicator of the therapeutic potential of a retinal electrical prosthesis.
Nusbaum, Derek M.; Wu, Samuel M.; Frankfort, Benjamin J.
The purpose of this study was to develop a novel experimental system for the modulation and measurement of intracranial pressure (ICP), and to use this system to assess the impact of elevated ICP on the optic nerve and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in CD1 mice. This system involved surgical implantation of an infusion cannula and a radiowave based pressure monitoring probe through the skull and into the subarachnoid space. The infusion cannula was used to increase ICP, which was measured by the probe and transmitted to a nearby receiver. The system provided robust and consistent ICP waveforms, was well tolerated, and was stable over time. ICP was elevated to approximately 30 mmHg for one week, after which we assessed changes in optic nerve structure with transmission electron microscopy in cross section and RGC numbers with antibody staining in retinal flat mounts. ICP elevation resulted in optic nerve axonal loss and disorganization, as well as RGC soma loss. We conclude that the controlled manipulation of ICP in active, awake mice is possible, despite their small size. Furthermore, ICP elevation results in visual system phenotypes of optic nerve and RGC degeneration, suggesting that this model can be used to study the impact of ICP on the visual system. Potentially, this model can also be used to study the relationship between ICP and IOP, as well diseases impacted by ICP variation such as glaucoma, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and the spaceflight-related visual impairment intracranial pressure syndrome. PMID:25912998
Deng, J; Zhang, X-L; Wang, J-W; Teng, L-L; Ge, J; Takemori, H; Xiong, Z-Q; Zhou, Y
Calcium- and cAMP-dependent activation of CREB and transcription of cAMP-responsive element (CRE)-target genes play critical roles in various physiological and pathological conditions. TORCs (transducers of regulated CREB) represent a new family of conserved CREB coactivators that function as intracellular calcium- and cAMP-sensitive coincidence detectors, controlling the kinetics of CRE-mediated responses and long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission. Here we examined the expression and activity-dependent translocation of TORCs in adult retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the primary target of acute retinal ischemic injury as well as chronic retinal degenerative diseases. We found that both mRNAs of TORC1 and TORC2, but not TORC3, were enriched in adult rat retina. Comparing with TORC2, TORC1 protein was highly and selectively expressed in RGCs. At resting condition, TORC1 protein was localized in the cytoplasm but not nucleus of RGCs. Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors by intravitreous injection of NMDA or increase of cAMP signaling by administration of forskolin triggered nuclear accumulation of TORC1. Furthermore, transient retinal ischemic injury resulted in peri-nuclear and nuclear accumulation of TORC1 as well as transcription of BDNF in RGCs. Our results demonstrate that TORC1 is enriched in RGCs and its subcellular location could be regulated by Ca(2+) and cAMP, suggesting that manipulation of TORC1 activity may promote survival of RGCs in some optic disease conditions.
Goo, Yong Sook; Park, Dae Jin; Ahn, Jung Ryul; Senok, Solomon S.
Characterization of the electrical activity of the retina in the animal models of retinal degeneration has been carried out in part to understand the progression of retinal degenerative diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but also to determine optimum stimulus paradigms for use with retinal prosthetic devices. The models most studied in this regard have been the two lines of mice deficient in the β-subunit of phosphodiesterase (rd1 and rd10 mice), where the degenerating retinas exhibit characteristic spontaneous hyperactivity and oscillatory local field potentials (LFPs). Additionally, there is a robust ~10 Hz rhythmic burst of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) spikes on the trough of the oscillatory LFP. In rd1 mice, the rhythmic burst of RGC spikes is always phase-locked with the oscillatory LFP and this phase-locking property is preserved regardless of postnatal ages. However, in rd10 mice, the frequency of the oscillatory rhythm changes according to postnatal age, suggesting that this rhythm might be a marker of the stage of degeneration. Furthermore when a biphasic current stimulus is applied to rd10 mice degenerate retina, distinct RGC response patterns that correlate with the stage of degeneration emerge. This review also considers the significance of these response properties. PMID:26793063
Lee, Sherwin C.; Hayashida, Yuki; Ishida, Andrew T.
Spiking in central neurons depends on the availability of inward and outward currents activated by depolarization, and on the activation and priming of currents by hyperpolarization. Of these processes, priming by hyperpolarization is the least described. In the case of T-type Ca2+ current availability, the interplay of hyperpolarization and depolarization has been studied most completely in expression systems, in part because of the difficulty of pharmacologically separating the Ca2+ currents of native neurons. To facilitate understanding of this current under physiological conditions, we measured T-type current of isolated goldfish retinal ganglion cells with perforated-patch voltage clamp methods in solutions containing a normal extracellular Ca2+ concentration. The voltage-sensitivities and rates of current activation, inactivation, deactivation, and recovery from inactivation were similar to those of expressed α1G (CaV3.1) Ca2+ channel clones, except that the rate of deactivation was significantly faster. We reproduced the amplitude and kinetics of measured T currents with a numerical simulation based on a kinetic model developed for an α1G Ca2+ channel. Finally, we show that this model predicts the increase of T-type current made available between resting potential and spike threshold by repetitive hyperpolarizations presented at rates that are within the bandwidth of signals processed in situ by these neurons. PMID:14665686
Galindo-Romero, C; Jiménez-López, M; García-Ayuso, D; Salinas-Navarro, M; Nadal-Nicolás, F M; Agudo-Barriuso, M; Villegas-Pérez, M P; Avilés-Trigueros, M; Vidal-Sanz, M
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) respond directly to light and are responsible of the synchronization of the circadian rhythm with the photic stimulus and for the pupillary light reflex. To quantify the total population of rat-ipRGCs and to assess their spatial distribution we have developed an automated routine and used neighbour maps. Moreover, in all analysed retinas we have studied the general population of RGCs - identified by their Brn3a expression - and the population of ipRGCs - identified by melanopsin immunodetection - thus allowing the co-analysis of their topography. Our results show that the total mean number ± standard deviation of ipRGCs in the albino rat is 2047 ± 309. Their distribution in the retina seems to be complementary to that of Brn3a(+)RGCs, being denser in the periphery, especially in the superior retina where their highest densities are found in the temporal quadrant, above the visual streak. In addition, by tracing the retinas from both superior colliculi, we have also determined that 90.62% of the ipRGC project to these central targets.
Zhang, Chanjuan; Wang, Zhen; Zhao, Jiayi; Li, Qin; Huang, Cuiqin; Zhu, Lihong; Lu, Daxiang
Lutein injection is a possible therapeutic approach for retinal diseases, but the molecular mechanism of its neuroprotective effect remains to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate its protective effects in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced retinal damage in vivo. Retinal damage was induced by intravitreal NMDA injection in rats. Each animal was given five daily intraperitoneal injections of Lutein or vehicle along with intravitreal NMDA injections. Electroretinograms were recorded. The number of viable RGCs was quantified using the retinal whole-mount method by immunofluorescence. Proteins were measured by Western blot assays. Lutein reduced the retinal damage and improved the response to light, as shown by an animal behavior assay (the black-and-white box method) in rats. Furthermore, Lutein treatment prevented the NMDA-induced reduction in phNR wave amplitude. Lutein increased RGC number after NMDA-induced retina damage. Most importantly, Bax, cytochrome c, p-p38 MAPK, and p-c-Jun were all upregulated in rats injected with NMDA, but these expression patterns were reversed by continuous Lutein uptake. Bcl-2, p-GSK-3β, and p-Akt in the Lutein-treated eyes were increased compared with the NMDA group. Lutein has neuroprotective effects against retinal damage, its protective effects may be partly mediated by its anti-excitability neurotoxicity, through MAPKs and PI3K/Akt signaling, suggesting a potential approach for suppressing retinal neural damage.
Miraucourt, Loïs S; Tsui, Jennifer; Gobert, Delphine; Desjardins, Jean-François; Schohl, Anne; Sild, Mari; Spratt, Perry; Castonguay, Annie; De Koninck, Yves; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Wiseman, Paul W; Ruthazer, Edward S
Type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) are widely expressed in the vertebrate retina, but the role of endocannabinoids in vision is not fully understood. Here, we identified a novel mechanism underlying a CB1R-mediated increase in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) intrinsic excitability acting through AMPK-dependent inhibition of NKCC1 activity. Clomeleon imaging and patch clamp recordings revealed that inhibition of NKCC1 downstream of CB1R activation reduces intracellular Cl− levels in RGCs, hyperpolarizing the resting membrane potential. We confirmed that such hyperpolarization enhances RGC action potential firing in response to subsequent depolarization, consistent with the increased intrinsic excitability of RGCs observed with CB1R activation. Using a dot avoidance assay in freely swimming Xenopus tadpoles, we demonstrate that CB1R activation markedly improves visual contrast sensitivity under low-light conditions. These results highlight a role for endocannabinoids in vision and present a novel mechanism for cannabinoid modulation of neuronal activity through Cl− regulation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15932.001 PMID:27501334
Ryu, Sang Baek; Ye, Jang Hee; Goo, Yong Sook; Kim, Chi Hyun; Kim, Kyung Hwan
For successful restoration of vision by retinal prostheses, the neural activity of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) evoked by electrical stimulation should represent the information of spatiotemporal patterns of visual input. We propose a method to evaluate the effectiveness of stimulation pulse trains so that the crucial temporal information of a visual input is accurately represented in the RGC responses as the amplitudes of pulse trains are modulated according to the light intensity. This was enabled by spike train decoding. The effectiveness of the stimulation was evaluated by the accuracy of decoding pulse amplitude from the RGC spike train, i.e., by the similarity between the original and the decoded pulse amplitude time series. When the parameters of stimulation were suitably determined, the RGC responses were reliably modulated by varying the amplitude of electrical pulses. Accordingly, the temporal pattern of pulse amplitudes could be successfully decoded from multiunit RGC spike trains. The range of pulse amplitude and the pulse rate were critical for accurate representation of input information in RGC responses. These results suggest that pulse amplitude modulation is a feasible means to encode temporal visual information by RGC spike trains and thus to implement stimulus encoding strategies for retinal prostheses.
Swaminathan, Maya; Oron, Assaf P; Chatterjee, Sumantra; Piper, Hannah; Cope-Yokoyama, Sandy; Chakravarti, Aravinda; Kapur, Raj P
Intestinal neuronal dysplasia type B (IND) denotes an increased proportion of hyperplastic submucosal ganglia, as resolved histochemically in 15-μm-thick frozen sections. IND has been reported proximal to the aganglionic segment in patients with Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) and is putatively associated with a higher rate of postsurgical dysmotility. We developed and validated histological criteria to diagnose IND-like submucosal ganglion cell hyperplasia (IND-SH) in paraffin sections and used the approach to study the incidence and clinical and/or genetic associations of IND-SH at the proximal margins of HSCR pull-through resection specimens. Full-circumference paraffin sections from the proximal margins of 64 HSCR colonic pull-through specimens and 24 autopsy controls were immunostained for neuron-specific Hu antigen, and nucleated ganglion cells in each submucosal ganglion were counted. In controls, an age-related decline in the relative abundance of "giant" ganglia (≥7 nucleated Hu-positive [Hu+] ganglion cells) was observed. A conservative diagnostic threshold for IND-SH (control mean ± 3× standard deviation) was derived from 15 controls less than 25 weeks of age. No control exceeded this threshold, whereas in the same age range, IND-SH was observed at the proximal margins in 15% (7 of 46) of HSCR resections, up to 15 cm proximal to the aganglionic segment. No significant correlation was observed between IND-SH and length of or distance from the aganglionic segment, sex, trisomy 21, RET or SEMA3C/D polymorphisms, or clinical outcome, but analysis of more patients, with better long-term follow-up will be required to clarify the significance of this histological phenotype.
Harahush, Blake K; Hart, Nathan S; Collin, Shaun P
The development of the visual system in anamniotic vertebrates is a continual process, allowing for ontogenetic changes in retinal topography and spatial resolving power. We examined the number and distribution of retinal ganglion cells in wholemounted retinae throughout the protracted embryonic development (∼5 months) of a chondrichthyan, i.e. the brown-banded bamboo shark Chiloscyllium punctatum, from the beginning of retinal cell differentiation (approximately halfway through embryogenesis) to adulthood. We also identified and quantified the number of apoptosed cells within the ganglion cell layer to evaluate the contribution of apoptosis to changes in retinal topography. C. punctatum undergoes rapid changes in ganglion cell distribution during embryogenesis, where high levels of apoptosis, especially around the retinal periphery, result in relative increases in ganglion cell density in the central retina which progressively extend nasally and temporally to form a meridional band at hatching. After hatching, C. punctatum forms and maintains a horizontal streak, showing only minor changes in topography during growth, with basal levels of apoptosis. The total number of retinal ganglion cells reaches 547,881 in adult sharks, but the mean (3,228 cells·mm(-2)) and peak (4,983 cells·mm(-2)) retinal ganglion cell densities are highest around the time of hatching. Calculated estimates of spatial resolving power, based on ganglion cell spacing (assuming a hexagonal mosaic) and assessment of the focal length from cryosections of the eye, increase from 1.47 cycles·degree(-1) during embryogenesis to 4.29 cycles·degree(-1) in adults. The increase in spatial resolving power across the retinal meridian would allow this species to hunt and track faster, more mobile prey as it reaches maturity.
Luo, Xiaopeng; Yu, Yankun; Xiang, Zongqin; Wu, Huisu; Ramakrishna, Seeram; Wang, Yuqiang; So, Kwok-Fai; Zhang, Zaijun; Xu, Ying
Adding a free radical-scavenging nitrone moiety on tetramethylpyrazine, we have previously synthesized a chemical named 2-[[(1,1-dimethylethyl)oxidoimino]-methyl]-3,5,6-trimethylpyrazine (tetramethylpyrazine nitrone, or TBN) and proved its neuroprotective effect but with limited understanding of its mechanism. Here we ask if TBN protects retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) against excitotoxicity induced by NMDA and explore the underlying mechanism. NMDA was intravitreally injected to induce RGC injury in rats, followed by daily intraperitoneal administrations of TBN. Measurements of TBN concentration at different times after intraperitoneal administration showed that more than 200 μM TBN reached the aqueous humor quickly. Then RGCs' survival was evaluated by quantifying Brn3-positive cells, and retinal functions were examined by electroretinogram and visual behaviors. TBN significantly increased the survival of RGCs after NMDA insult, recovered the amplitude of photopic negative responses to flash, and restored the visual behavior. Furthermore, TBN inhibited the apoptotic process, as indicated by the elevated ratios of cleaved caspase-3/caspase-3 and of Bax/Bcl-2, and decreased the level of reactive oxygen species. Moreover, TBN reduced RGC's calcium overload induced by NMDA or by KCl. Whole-cell patch recording from RGCs further showed that TBN slightly but significantly inhibited L-type calcium channels, but had little effect on T-type calcium channel or NMDA-, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid(AMPA)-induced current. Thus our data indicate that TBN alleviates NMDA-elicited injury of rat RGCs both morphologically and functionally, possibly by inhibiting the L-type calcium channel thus reducing Ca(2+) overload and by directly scavenging free radicals. Therefore, TBN may be a novel candidate for treating excitotoxicity-related visual disorders such as glaucoma.
Kim, Young J; Ibrahim, Leena A; Wang, Sheng-Zhi; Yuan, Wei; Evgrafov, Oleg V; Knowles, James A; Wang, Kai; Tao, Huizhong W; Zhang, Li I
During the development of periphery auditory circuitry, spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) form a spatially precise pattern of innervation of cochlear hair cells (HCs), which is an essential structural foundation for central auditory processing. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental formation of this precise innervation pattern remain not well understood. Here, we specifically examined the involvement of Eph family members in cochlear development. By performing RNA-sequencing for different types of cochlear cell, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry, we found that EphA7 was strongly expressed in a large subset of SGNs. In EphA7 deletion mice, there was a reduction in the number of inner radial bundles originating from SGNs and projecting to HCs as well as in the number of ribbon synapses on inner hair cells (IHCs), as compared with wild-type or heterozygous mutant mice, attributable to fewer type I afferent fibers. The overall activity of the auditory nerve in EphA7 deletion mice was also reduced, although there was no significant change in the hearing intensity threshold. In vitro analysis further suggested that the reduced innervation of HCs by SGNs could be attributed to a role of EphA7 in regulating outgrowth of SGN neurites as knocking down EphA7 in SGNs resulted in diminished SGN fibers. In addition, suppressing the activity of ERK1/2, a potential downstream target of EphA7 signaling, either with specific inhibitors in cultured explants or by knocking out Prkg1, also resulted in reduced SGN fibers. Together, our results suggest that EphA7 plays an important role in the developmental formation of cochlear innervation pattern through controlling SGN fiber ontogeny. Such regulation may contribute to the salience level of auditory signals presented to the central auditory system.
Nakahira, Rei; Yoshida, Rumika; Michishita, Masaki; Ohkusu-Tsukada, Kozo; Takahashi, Kimimasa
Ganglion cell-like (GL) cells reside in the dermis of the ventral skin of mature male Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sugorus) and express androgen receptor (AR). To assess whether GL cells have androgen-dependent behavior, we evaluated the histologic changes of GL cells after gonadectomy. Five male and 5 female hamsters were gonadectomized at the age of 4 wk and necropsied 14 wk later. The number, distribution, and proliferative activity of GL cells in the thoracoabdominal and dorsal skins were evaluated histologically and compared with those of corresponding intact animals. GL cells were more numerous, were distributed throughout the skin more widely, and had higher proliferative activity in the intact male hamsters than in their gonadectomized counterparts. Similar trends regarding these 3 parameters were seen in ovariectomized compared with intact female hamsters and between intact male and intact female hamsters. These results suggest that the GL cells of Djungarian hamsters demonstrate sex-associated differences in their distribution and proliferative activity and that androgen may be involved in the development of these cells.
Men, Jie; Zhang, Xiaohui; Yang, Yang; Gao, Dianwen
Some ocular diseases characterized by apoptotic death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are chronic neurodegenerative disorders and have similarities in neuropathology. Humanin (HN) is known for its ability to suppress neuronal death induced by AD-related insults. In present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of HN on hypoxia-induced toxicity in RGC-5 cells. Hypoxia mimetic compound cobalt chloride (CoCl₂) could increase the cell viability loss and apoptosis, whereas HN can significantly attenuate these effects. This finding may provide new therapeutics for the retinal neurodegenerative diseases targeting neuroprotection.
Rattay, Frank; Danner, Simon M.
Early neural responses to acoustic signals can be electrically recorded as a series of waves, termed the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The latencies of the ABR waves are important for clinical and neurophysiological evaluations. Using a biophysical model of transmembrane currents along spiral ganglion cells, we show that in human (i) the non-myelinated somatic regions of type I cells, which innervate inner hair cells, predominantly contribute to peak I, (ii) the supra-strong postsynaptic stimulating current (400 pA) and transmembrane currents of the myelinated peripheral axons of type I cells are an order smaller; such postsynaptic currents correspond to the short latencies of a small recordable ABR peak I’, (iii) the ABR signal involvement of the central axon of bipolar type I cells is more effective than their peripheral counterpart as the doubled diameter causes larger transmembrane currents and a larger spike dipole-length, (iv) non-myelinated fibers of type II cells which innervate the outer hair cells generate essentially larger transmembrane currents but their ABR contribution is small because of the small ratio type II/type I cells, low firing rates and a short dipole length of spikes propagating slowly in non-myelinated fibers. Using a finite element model of a simplified head, peaks In and II (where In is the negative peak after peak I) are found to be stationary potentials when volleys of spikes cross the external electrical conductivity barrier at the bone&dura/CSF and at the CSF/brainstem interface whereas peaks I’ and I may be generated by strong local transmembrane currents as postsynaptic events at the distal ending and the soma region of type I cells, respectively. All simulated human inter-peak times (I–I′, II–I, In–I) are close to published data. PMID:25019355
Hirooka, Kazuyuki; Izumibata, Saeko; Ukegawa, Kaori; Nitta, Eri; Tsujikawa, Akitaka
Abstract This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between glaucoma progression and estimates of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) obtained by combining structural and functional measurements in patients with glaucoma. In the present observational cohort study, we examined 116 eyes of 62 glaucoma patients. Using Cirrus optical coherence tomography (OCT), a minimum of 5 serial retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) measurements were performed in all eyes. There was a 3-year separation between the first and last measurements. Visual field (VF) testing was performed on the same day as the RNFL imaging using the Swedish Interactive Threshold Algorithm Standard 30–2 program of the Humphrey Field Analyzer. Estimates of the RGC counts were obtained from standard automated perimetry (SAP) and OCT, with a weighted average then used to determine a final estimate of the number of RGCs for each eye. Linear regression was used to calculate the rate of the RGC loss, and trend analysis was used to evaluate both serial RNFL thicknesses and VF progression. Use of the average RNFL thickness parameter of OCT led to detection of progression in 14 of 116 eyes examined, whereas the mean deviation slope detected progression in 31 eyes. When the rates of RGC loss were used, progression was detected in 41 of the 116 eyes, with a mean rate of RGC loss of −28,260 ± 8110 cells/year. Estimation of the rate of RGC loss by combining structural and functional measurements resulted in better detection of glaucoma progression compared to either OCT or SAP. PMID:27472691
Schottdorf, Manuel; Keil, Wolfgang; Coppola, David; White, Leonard E; Wolf, Fred
The architecture of iso-orientation domains in the primary visual cortex (V1) of placental carnivores and primates apparently follows species invariant quantitative laws. Dynamical optimization models assuming that neurons coordinate their stimulus preferences throughout cortical circuits linking millions of cells specifically predict these invariants. This might indicate that V1's intrinsic connectome and its functional architecture adhere to a single optimization principle with high precision and robustness. To validate this hypothesis, it is critical to closely examine the quantitative predictions of alternative candidate theories. Random feedforward wiring within the retino-cortical pathway represents a conceptually appealing alternative to dynamical circuit optimization because random dimension-expanding projections are believed to generically exhibit computationally favorable properties for stimulus representations. Here, we ask whether the quantitative invariants of V1 architecture can be explained as a generic emergent property of random wiring. We generalize and examine the stochastic wiring model proposed by Ringach and coworkers, in which iso-orientation domains in the visual cortex arise through random feedforward connections between semi-regular mosaics of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and visual cortical neurons. We derive closed-form expressions for cortical receptive fields and domain layouts predicted by the model for perfectly hexagonal RGC mosaics. Including spatial disorder in the RGC positions considerably changes the domain layout properties as a function of disorder parameters such as position scatter and its correlations across the retina. However, independent of parameter choice, we find that the model predictions substantially deviate from the layout laws of iso-orientation domains observed experimentally. Considering random wiring with the currently most realistic model of RGC mosaic layouts, a pairwise interacting point process, the
Li, Jun; Zhao, Lei; Urabe, Go; Fu, Yingmei
Purpose The bromo and extraterminal (BET) epigenetic “reader” family is becoming an appealing new therapeutic target for several common diseases, yet little is known of its role in retinal neurodegeneration. We explored the potential of BET inhibition in the protection of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Methods To test the therapeutic effect of JQ1, an inhibitor highly selective for the BET family of proteins, we used an acute RGC damage model induced by N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) excitotoxicity. Adult C57BL/6 mice received an intravitreal injection of NMDA with (or without) JQ1 in one eye and vehicle control in the contralateral eye; RGC loss was assessed on retinal sections and whole mounts. Gene expression and apoptosis were analyzed by quantitative real time (RT)-PCR and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), respectively. For counting RGCs, immunostaining of the marker protein BRN3A was performed on whole mounts. Results NMDA treatment eliminated RGCs (day 7 and day 14 post injection) and diminished the expression (mRNAs) of RGC-selective genes, including Thy1, Nrn1, Sncg, and Nfl (day 3 and day 7). In contrast, co-injection with JQ1 maintained the number and gene expression of RGCs at ~2 fold of the control (NMDA only, no JQ1), and it decreased NMDA-induced TUNEL-positive cells in the RGC layer by 35%. While NMDA treatment dramatically upregulated mRNAs of inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, MCP-1, RANTES) in retinal homogenates, co-injection with JQ1 suppressed their upregulation by ~50%. Conclusions Intravitreal injection of a BET inhibitor (JQ1) ameliorates NMDA-induced RGC death, revealing the RGC-protective potential of pharmacological blockage of the BET family. This new strategy of epigenetic intervention may be extended to other retinal degenerative conditions. PMID:28356707
Casimiro, Tanya M.; Nawy, Scott; Carroll, Reed C.
On retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) transmit light encoded information to the brain and receive excitatory input from On cone bipolar cells (CBPs). The synaptic CBP input onto On RGCs is mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) that include both those lacking a GluA2 subunit, and are therefore permeable to Ca2+, and those that possess at least one GluA2 subunit and are Ca2+-impermeable. We have previously demonstrated in electrophysiological studies that periods of low synaptic activity, brought about by housing animals in darkness, enhances the proportion of GluA2-lacking AMPARs at the On CBP-On RGC synapse by mobilizing surface GluA2 containing receptors into a receptor pool that rapidly cycles in and out of the membrane. AMPAR cycling induction by reduced synaptic activity takes several hours. This delay suggests that changes in expression of proteins which regulate AMPAR trafficking may mediate the altered mobility of GluA2 AMPARs in RGCs. In this study, we test the hypothesis that AMPAR trafficking proteins couple synaptic activity to AMPAR cycling in RGCs. Immunocytochemical and biochemical analysis confirmed that darkness decreases surface GluA2 in RGCs and changed the expression levels of three proteins associated with GluA2 trafficking. GRIP was decreased, while PICK1 and Arc were increased. Knockdown of GRIP with siRNA elevated constitutive AMPAR cycling, mimicking effects of reduced synaptic activity, while knockdown of PICK1 and ARC blocked increases in constitutive GluA2 trafficking. Our results support a role for correlated, activity-driven changes in multiple AMPAR trafficking proteins that modulate GluA2 cycling which can in turn affect synaptic AMPAR composition in RGCs. PMID:23911793
Munguba, Gustavo C.; Galeb, Sanja; Liu, Yuan; Landy, David C.; Lam, Daisy; Camp, Andrew; Samad, Sinthia; Tapia, Mary L.; Lee, Richard K.
Purpose. We investigated the progressive nature of neurodegenerative structural changes following injury to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons using quantifiable and noninvasive in vivo imaging techniques. Methods. To track degenerative RGC progression in retinas following optic nerve crush (ONC) injury, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) was used to quantitate the RGC nerve fiber layer (NFL) density. The RGC soma cell density (RCD) was measured by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO). The RCD counts were performed using blood vessels as landmarks to anatomically track defined progressive changes in enhanced yellow fluorescent fusion protein (EYFP)-labeled RGCs. Results. Following ONC injury, 68% of the observed decrease in RCD measured by CSLO and 54% of the NFL thickness obtained by SD-OCT imaging (N = 4 retinas) occurred within the first week. Between days 7 and 14, an additional 22% decrease in RCD was concurrent with a 31% decrease in overall NFL thickness. Finally, between days 14 and 21, an additional 10% decrease in RCD measured in vivo by CSLO and 15% decrease in NFL thickness by SD-OCT was observed. Conclusions. Our data suggest that in vivo CSLO imaging of EYFP-RGC expression and SD-OCT measured NFL thickness are fast and reliable methods that longitudinally track neurodegenerative progression following ONC injury. Neurodegenerative changes in NFL thickness measured by SD-OCT imaging have the same overall trajectory as those observed by CSLO for RCD; however, changes in NFL thickness initially lag behind in vivo RGC soma counts with a slower decline in overall measurable change. PMID:25228542
Pitha, Ian F.; Nguyen, Cathy; Steinhart, Matthew R.; Nguyen, Thao D.; Pease, Mary Ellen; Oglesby, Ericka N.; Berlinicke, Cynthia A.; Mitchell, Katherine L.; Kim, Jessica; Jefferys, Joan J.
Purpose To determine if oral losartan treatment decreases the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death caused by experimental intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in mice. Methods We produced IOP increase in CD1 mice and performed unilateral optic nerve crush. Mice received oral losartan, spironolactone, enalapril, or no drug to test effects of inhibiting angiotensin receptors. IOP was monitored by Tonolab, and blood pressure was monitored by tail cuff device. RGC loss was measured in masked axon counts and RGC bodies by β-tubulin labeling. Scleral changes that could modulate RGC injury were measured including axial length, scleral thickness, and retinal layer thicknesses, pressure-strain behavior in inflation testing, and study of angiotensin receptors and pathways by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Results Losartan treatment prevented significant RGC loss (median loss = 2.5%, p = 0.13), while median loss with water, spironolactone, and enalapril treatments were 26%, 28% and 43%; p < 0.0001). The lower RGC loss with losartan was significantly less than the loss with spironolactone or enalapril (regression model p = 0.001; drug treatment group term p = 0.01). Both losartan and enalapril significantly lowered blood pressure (p< 0.001), but losartan was protective, while enalapril led to worse than water-treated RGC loss. RGC loss after crush injury was unaffected by losartan treatment (difference from control p = 0.9). Survival of RGC in cell culture was not prolonged by sartan treatment. Axonal transport blockade after 3 day IOP elevations was less in losartan-treated than in control glaucoma eyes (p = 0.007). Losartan inhibited effects of glaucoma, including reduction in extracellular signal-related kinase activity and modification of glaucoma-related changes in scleral thickness and creep under controlled IOP. Conclusions The neuroprotective effect of losartan in mouse glaucoma is associated with adaptive changes
Guo, Ying; Johnson, Elaine C.; Cepurna, William O.; Dyck, Jennifer A.; Doser, Tom
Purpose. To identify patterns of early gene expression changes in the retinal ganglion cell layer (GCL) of a rodent model of chronic glaucoma. Methods. Prolonged elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) was produced in rats by episcleral vein injection of hypertonic saline (N = 30). GCLs isolated by laser capture microdissection were grouped by grading of the nerve injury (<25% axon degeneration for early injury; >25% for advanced injury). Gene expression was determined by cDNA microarray of independent GCL RNA samples. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to further examine the expression of selected genes. Results. By array analysis, 533 GCL genes (225 up, 308 down) were significantly regulated in early injury. Compared to only one major upregulated gene class of metabolism regulation, more were downregulated, including mitochondria, ribosome, proteasome, energy pathways, protein synthesis, protein folding, and synaptic transmission. qPCR confirmed an early upregulation of Atf3. With advanced injury, 1790 GCL genes were significantly regulated (997 up, 793 down). Altered gene categories included upregulated protein synthesis, immune response, and cell apoptosis and downregulated dendrite morphogenesis and axon extension. Of all the early changed genes, 50% were not present in advanced injury. These uniquely affected genes were mainly associated with upregulated transcription regulation and downregulated protein synthesis. Conclusions. Early GCL gene responses to pressure-induced injury are characterized by an upregulation of Atf3 and extensive downregulation in genes associated with cellular metabolism and neuronal functions. Most likely, these changes represent those specific to RGCs and are thus potentially important for enhancing RGC survival in glaucoma. PMID:21051717
Hannibal, J; Kankipati, L; Strang, C E; Peterson, B B; Dacey, D; Gamlin, P D
Circadian rhythms generated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) are entrained to the environmental light/dark cycle via intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) expressing the photopigment melanopsin and the neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP). The ipRGCs regulate other nonimage-forming visual functions such as the pupillary light reflex, masking behavior, and light-induced melatonin suppression. To evaluate whether PACAP-immunoreactive retinal projections are useful as a marker for central projection of ipRGCs in the monkey brain, we characterized the occurrence of PACAP in melanopsin-expressing ipRGCs and in the retinal target areas in the brain visualized by the anterograde tracer cholera toxin subunit B (CtB) in combination with PACAP staining. In the retina, PACAP and melanopsin were found to be costored in 99% of melanopsin-expressing cells characterized as inner and outer stratifying melanopsin RGCs. Two macaque monkeys were anesthetized and received a unilateral intravitreal injection of CtB. Bilateral retinal projections containing colocalized CtB and PACAP immunostaining were identified in the SCN, the lateral geniculate complex including the pregeniculate nucleus, the pretectal olivary nucleus, the nucleus of the optic tract, the brachium of the superior colliculus, and the superior colliculus. In conclusion, PACAP-immunoreactive projections with colocalized CtB represent retinal projections of ipRGCs in the macaque monkey, supporting previous retrograde tracer studies demonstrating that melanopsin-containing retinal projections reach areas in the primate brain involved in both image- and nonimage-forming visual processing.
Hernández, María; Urcola, J Haritz; Vecino, Elena
The aim of the present study is to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of two antiglaucomatous substances, regardless of their hypotensive effect in the eye. Brimonidine, which does not reduce IOP when administered intraperitoneally, and latanoprost, which has a renowned hypotensive effect topically. We examined rat retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and size distribution in experimental glaucoma in response to different glaucomatous agents. IOP was elevated by episcleral vein cauterization (EVC) prior to the application of different treatments: (I) PBS application (control group), (II) intraperitoneal administration of brimonidine (a general hypotensive agent), (III) topical application of latanoprost (an ocular hypotensive agent), and (IV) latanoprost combined with brimonidine. After 12 weeks, RGCs were retrogradely labeled with fluorogold and RGC density was analyzed. EVC caused a significant increase (42%) in IOP in each group before drug treatment. After 12weeks of EVC, RGC survival in control vs. EVC rats was 78.9+/-3.2%. No IOP reduction was observed in brimonidine injected rats, but RGC survival at 12 weeks was total (103.7+/-2.7%). In latanoprost treated rats, IOP dropped by around 22% and 94.7+/-3.7% of the RGC population survived. Finally in the latanoprost+brimonidine combined group, IOP was significantly reduced by 25% and 94.4+/-2.2% of RGCs survived. Surprisingly, whereas EVC led to a 6% increase in RGC soma size, brimonidine treatment was associated with a 9% reduction in the soma size of RGCs at 12 weeks. We conclude that brimonidine exerts a neuroprotective effect via a mechanism which is independent of IOP reduction. These findings indicate that cell survival in glaucoma may be enhanced by neuroprotective strategies which are independent of IOP reduction. No synergistic neuroprotective effect was observed when both treatments were applied simultaneously.
Zhao, Wen-Jie; Zhang, Min; Miao, Yanying; Yang, Xiong-Li; Wang, Zhongfeng
In vertebrate retina, melatonin regulates various physiological functions. In this work we investigated the mechanisms underlying melatonin-induced potentiation of glycine currents in rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Immunofluorescence double labelling showed that rat RGCs were solely immunoreactive to melatonin MT(2) receptors. Melatonin potentiated glycine currents of RGCs, which was reversed by the MT(2) receptor antagonist 4-P-PDOT. The melatonin effect was blocked by intracellular dialysis of GDP-beta-S. Either preincubation with pertussis toxin or application of the phosphatidylcholine (PC)-specific phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor D609, but not the phosphatidylinositol (PI)-PLC inhibitor U73122, blocked the melatonin effect. The protein kinase C (PKC) activator PMA potentiated the glycine currents and in the presence of PMA melatonin failed to cause further potentiation of the currents, whereas application of the PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide IV abolished the melatonin-induced potentiation. The melatonin effect persisted when [Ca(2+)](i) was chelated by BAPTA, and melatonin induced no increase in [Ca(2+)](i). Neither cAMP-PKA nor cGMP-PKG signalling pathways seemed to be involved because 8-Br-cAMP or 8-Br-cGMP failed to cause potentiation of the glycine currents and both the PKA inhibitor H-89 and the PKG inhibitor KT5823 did not block the melatonin-induced potentiation. In consequence, a distinct PC-PLC/PKC signalling pathway, following the activation of G(i/o)-coupled MT(2) receptors, is most likely responsible for the melatonin-induced potentiation of glycine currents of rat RGCs. Furthermore, in rat retinal slices melatonin potentiated light-evoked glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents in RGCs. These results suggest that melatonin, being at higher levels at night, may help animals to detect positive or negative contrast in night vision by modulating inhibitory signals largely mediated by glycinergic amacrine cells in the inner
Coppola, David; White, Leonard E.; Wolf, Fred
The architecture of iso-orientation domains in the primary visual cortex (V1) of placental carnivores and primates apparently follows species invariant quantitative laws. Dynamical optimization models assuming that neurons coordinate their stimulus preferences throughout cortical circuits linking millions of cells specifically predict these invariants. This might indicate that V1’s intrinsic connectome and its functional architecture adhere to a single optimization principle with high precision and robustness. To validate this hypothesis, it is critical to closely examine the quantitative predictions of alternative candidate theories. Random feedforward wiring within the retino-cortical pathway represents a conceptually appealing alternative to dynamical circuit optimization because random dimension-expanding projections are believed to generically exhibit computationally favorable properties for stimulus representations. Here, we ask whether the quantitative invariants of V1 architecture can be explained as a generic emergent property of random wiring. We generalize and examine the stochastic wiring model proposed by Ringach and coworkers, in which iso-orientation domains in the visual cortex arise through random feedforward connections between semi-regular mosaics of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and visual cortical neurons. We derive closed-form expressions for cortical receptive fields and domain layouts predicted by the model for perfectly hexagonal RGC mosaics. Including spatial disorder in the RGC positions considerably changes the domain layout properties as a function of disorder parameters such as position scatter and its correlations across the retina. However, independent of parameter choice, we find that the model predictions substantially deviate from the layout laws of iso-orientation domains observed experimentally. Considering random wiring with the currently most realistic model of RGC mosaic layouts, a pairwise interacting point process, the
Weng, Shijun; Estevez, Maureen E.; Berson, David M.
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are depolarized by light by two mechanisms: directly, through activation of their photopigment melanopsin; and indirectly through synaptic circuits driven by rods and cones. To learn more about the rod and cone circuits driving ipRGCs, we made multielectrode array (MEA) and patch-clamp recordings in wildtype and genetically modified mice. Rod-driven ON inputs to ipRGCs proved to be as sensitive as any reaching the conventional ganglion cells. These signals presumably pass in part through the primary rod pathway, involving rod bipolar cells and AII amacrine cells coupled to ON cone bipolar cells through gap junctions. Consistent with this interpretation, the sensitive rod ON input to ipRGCs was eliminated by pharmacological or genetic disruption of gap junctions, as previously reported for conventional ganglion cells. A presumptive cone input was also detectable as a brisk, synaptically mediated ON response that persisted after disruption of rod ON pathways. This was roughly three log units less sensitive than the rod input. Spectral analysis revealed that both types of cones, the M- and S-cones, contribute to this response and that both cone types drive ON responses. This contrasts with the blue-OFF, yellow-ON chromatic opponency reported in primate ipRGCs. The cone-mediated response was surprisingly persistent during steady illumination, echoing the tonic nature of both the rod input to ipRGCs and their intrinsic, melanopsin-based phototransduction. These synaptic inputs greatly expand the dynamic range and spectral bandpass of the non-image-forming visual functions for which ipRGCs provide the principal retinal input. PMID:23762490
Tsai, David; Chen, Spencer; Protti, Dario A; Morley, John W; Suaning, Gregg J; Lovell, Nigel H
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which survive in large numbers following neurodegenerative diseases, could be stimulated with extracellular electric pulses to elicit artificial percepts. How do the RGCs respond to electrical stimulation at the sub-cellular level under different stimulus configurations, and how does this influence the whole-cell response? At the population level, why have experiments yielded conflicting evidence regarding the extent of passing axon activation? We addressed these questions through simulations of morphologically and biophysically detailed computational RGC models on high performance computing clusters. We conducted the analyses on both large-field RGCs and small-field midget RGCs. The latter neurons are unique to primates. We found that at the single cell level the electric potential gradient in conjunction with neuronal element excitability, rather than the electrode center location per se, determined the response threshold and latency. In addition, stimulus positioning strongly influenced the location of RGC response initiation and subsequent activity propagation through the cellular structure. These findings were robust with respect to inhomogeneous tissue resistivity perpendicular to the electrode plane. At the population level, RGC cellular structures gave rise to low threshold hotspots, which limited axonal and multi-cell activation with threshold stimuli. Finally, due to variations in neuronal element excitability over space, following supra-threshold stimulation some locations favored localized activation of multiple cells, while others favored axonal activation of cells over extended space.
Munemasa, Yasunari; Kitaoka, Yasushi
Glaucoma, which affects more than 70 million people worldwide, is a heterogeneous group of disorders with a resultant common denominator; optic neuropathy, eventually leading to irreversible blindness. The clinical manifestations of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the most common subtype of glaucoma, include excavation of the optic disc and progressive loss of visual field. Axonal degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and apoptotic death of their cell bodies are observed in glaucoma, in which the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) is known to slow progression of the disease. A pattern of localized retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) defects in glaucoma patients indicates that axonal degeneration may precede RGC body death in this condition. The mechanisms of degeneration of neuronal cell bodies and their axons may differ. In this review, we addressed the molecular mechanisms of cell body death and axonal degeneration in glaucoma and proposed axonal protection in addition to cell body protection. The concept of axonal protection may become a new therapeutic strategy to prevent further axonal degeneration or revive dying axons in patients with preperimetric glaucoma. Further study will be needed to clarify whether the combination therapy of axonal protection and cell body protection will have greater protective effects in early or progressive glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON). PMID:23316132
Nixon, R A; Lewis, S E; Marotta, C A
The progressive modification of newly synthesized neurofilament proteins (NFPs) during axoplasmic transport in mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) neurons was studied after RGC perikarya were pulse-labeled with 32P-orthophosphate or radiolabeled amino acids. The 3 NFP subunits, H(igh), M(iddle), and L(ow), were among a group of axonally transported proteins that incorporated high levels of 32P. Covalent addition of phosphate slowed the electrophoretic mobility of H and M on SDS polyacrylamide gels and shifted the charge of all 3 subunits toward more acidic pH values, thereby providing an index of the phosphorylation state of this radiolabeled population of NFPs. NFPs were extensively phosphorylated before they entered axons at the optic nerve level, and continued to be modified during transport along RGC axons at the optic nerve and tract level. H and M exhibited charge shifts of 0.2-0.6 units toward a more acidic pH during axoplasmic transport. The charge modifications became more prominent when NFPs reached distal axonal levels, which may indicate regional differences in the activity of this modification process along axons. By contrast, the L subunit became more basic in charge, consistent with decreases in the phosphorylation state during transport. Additional observations (Nixon and Lewis, 1986) that a considerable proportion of phosphate groups initially added to L and M were later removed as neurofilaments advanced along RGC axons support the notion that the changing phosphorylation state of NFP subunits during axoplasmic transport reflects a dynamic equilibrium between phosphorylation and dephosphorylation events. Topographical remodeling of phosphate groups on NFPs during axoplasmic transport is proposed as a possible mechanism for coordinating interactions between neurofilaments and other constituents, as these elements are transported and integrated into the axonal cytoskeleton.
Kupersmith, Mark J.; Garvin, Mona K.; Wang, Jui-Kai; Durbin, Mary; Kardon, Randy
Background Spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) reveals retina ganglion cell layer plus inner plexiform layer (GCL+IPL) and peripapillary nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thinning in chronic optic nerve injury. At presentation, swelling of the pRNFL confounds evaluation of early axon loss. Objective We studied whether the GCL+IPL thins before the pRNFL, the trajectory of GCL+IPL loss and relationship to vision. Methods We prospectively evaluated 33 eyes (study) with new optic neuritis, using perimetry and SD-OCT with investigative 3-D layer segmentation and commercial 2-D segmentation to compute the GCL+IPL and pRNFL thickness. Results At presentation, GCL+IPL thickness (82.4±8.8 μm) did not differ from unaffected fellow eyes (81.2± 6.7 μm), via the 3-D method, while the 2-D method failed in 9% of study eyes. At one-two months, there was thinning of pRNFL in 10% and of GCL+IPL in 93% of study eyes. GCL+IPL reduction was greatest during the first two months. GCL+IPL thinning at one-two months correlated with GCL+IPL thinning at 6 months (r=0.84, p=0.01) and presentation visual acuity (r-0.48, p=0.006) and perimetric mean deviation (r=0.52, p=0.003). Conclusion GGL+IPL is an early biomarker of structural injury in optic neuritis as thinning develops within one-two months of onset, prior to pRNFL thinning. PMID:26362894
Soares, Célia A; Mason, Carol A
During development of the mammalian eye, the first retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that extend to the brain are located in the dorsocentral (DC) retina. These RGCs extend to either ipsilateral or contralateral targets, but the ipsilateral projections do not survive into postnatal periods. The function and means of disappearance of the transient ipsilateral projection are not known. We have followed the course of this transient early ipsilateral cohort of RGCs, paying attention to how far they extend, whether they enter targets and if so, which ones, and the time course of their disappearance. The DC ipsilateral RGC axons were traced using DiI labeling at E13.5 and E15.5 to compare the proportion of ipsi- versus contralateral projections during the first period of growth. In utero electroporation of E12.5 retina with GFP constructs was used to label axons that could be visualized at succeeding time points into postnatal ages. Our results show that the earliest ipsilateral axons grow along the cellular border of the brain, and are segregated from the laterally positioned contralateral axons from the same retinal origin. In agreement with previous reports, although many early RGCs extend ipsilaterally, after E16 their number rapidly declines. Nonetheless, some ipsilateral axons from the DC retina enter the superior colliculus and arborize minimally, but very few enter the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and those that do extend only short branches. While the mechanism of selective axonal disappearance remains elusive, these data give further insight into establishment of the visual pathways.
Guy, John; Feuer, William J.; Porciatti, Vittorio; Schiffman, Joyce; Abukhalil, Fawzi; Vandenbroucke, Ruth; Rosa, Potyra R.; Lam, Byron L.
Purpose. To report the serial evaluation of asymptomatic eyes of subjects with mutated G11778A mitochondrial DNA. Methods. Forty-five asymptomatic G11778A Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) carriers and two patients with the mutation who developed unilateral visual loss underwent testing that included visual acuity, automated visual field, pattern electroretinogram (PERG), and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography every 6 months between September 2008 and March 2012. Results. Visual acuity, visual fields, and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness remained stable within the normal range. Mean PERG amplitudes of carriers dropped progressively by ∼40% from baseline to 36 months. In addition, comparisons with the fellow eyes of patients with unilateral optic neuritis revealed a 3.4 ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study) letter loss in the LHON carriers. A single carrier developed visual loss, with PERG amplitudes dropping by half. In one of two LHON cases who presented with unilateral visual loss, visual acuity in the asymptomatic eye was ∼20/40 at baseline. The PERG amplitude of this eye was reduced to ∼30% of normal. Six months later, his visual acuity had dropped to ∼20/500. A second patient who was ∼20/20 and had a visual field defect in the asymptomatic eye at baseline remained at this level for the 18 months of follow-up. His PERG amplitudes were similar to those of asymptomatic carriers, with 0.78 μV at baseline that did not decline with follow-up. Conclusions. Declines of the PERG amplitude suggest subclinical retinal ganglion cell dysfunction in asymptomatic G11778A subjects, which is progressive. PMID:24398093
Hegazy, Ahmed I.; Zedan, Rasha H.; Macky, Tamer A.; Esmat, Soheir M.
AIM To assess the ganglion cell complex (GCC) thickness in diabetic eyes without retinopathy. METHODS Two groups included 45 diabetic eyes without retinopathy and 21 non diabetic eyes. All subjects underwent full medical and ophthalmological history, full ophthalmological examination, measuring GCC thickness and central foveal thickness (CFT) using the RTVue® spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), and HbA1C level. RESULTS GCC focal loss volume (FLV%) was significantly more in diabetic eyes (22.2% below normal) than normal eyes (P=0.024). No statistically significant difference was found between the diabetic group and the control group regarding GCC global loss volume (GLV%) (P=0.160). CFT was positively correlated to the average, superior and inferior GCC (P=0.001, 0.000 and 0.001 respectively) and negatively correlated to GLV% and FLV% (P=0.002 and 0.031 respectively) in diabetic eyes. C/D ratio in diabetic eyes was negatively correlated to average, superior and inferior GCC (P=0.015, 0.007 and 0.017 respectively). The FLV% was negatively correlated to the refraction and level of HbA1c (P=0.019 and 0.013 respectively) and positively correlated to the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in logMAR in diabetic group (P=0.004). CONCLUSION Significant GCC thinning in diabetes predates retinal vasculopathy, which is mainly focal rather than diffuse. It has no preference to either the superior or inferior halves of the macula. Increase of myopic error is significantly accompanied with increased focal GCC loss. GCC loss is accompanied with increased C/D ratio in diabetic eyes. PMID:28393035
Knighton, Robert W.; Gregori, Giovanni
Purpose. To use surfaces generated by two-dimensional penalized splines (2D P-splines) to characterize the shape of the macular ganglion cell plus inner plexiform layers (GCL+IPL) in a group of normal humans. Methods. Macular images of the right eyes of 23 normal subjects ranging in age from 18 to 75 years were obtained with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). The thickness of GCL+IPL was determined by manual segmentation, areas with blood vessels were removed, and the resulting maps were fit by smooth surfaces in polar coordinates centered on the fovea. Results. Smooth surfaces based on 2D P-splines could precisely represent GCL+IPL thickness data, with errors comparable to the axial resolution of the SD-OCT instrument. Metrics were developed for the size, shape, and slope of the edge of the foveal depression and size and shape of the surrounding macular ridge. The slope of the foveal edge was negatively correlated with foveal size (r = −0.60). The size of the macular ridge was positively correlated with foveal size (r = 0.75), with a slope near unity (0.90 ± 0.18). The centroids of the foveal edge and macular ridge clustered near the foveal center. The foveal edge and macular ridge were well fit by ellipses. The mean GCL+IPL thickness formed an elliptical annulus elongated by approximately 30% in the horizontal direction. Conclusions. The methods developed here provide precise characterization of retinal layers for the study of glaucoma, foveal development, and other applications. PMID:23033389
Moon, Haein; Lee, Jin Young; Lee, Jong Eun
Purpose To investigate the use of ganglion cell inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) thickness, as measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography, to detect central visual field (VF) progression. Methods This study included 384 eyes from 384 patients (219 preperimetric and 165 perimetric glaucomatous eyes; average follow-up, 4.3 years). Photographic assessment of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and serial VF analysis were performed to detect glaucoma progression in the central (within 10°) area. Study inclusion required at least five serial spectral domain optical coherence tomography exams at different visits. The long-term test-retest variability of average GC-IPL thicknesses was calculated in 110 stable preperimetric glaucomatous eyes. The sensitivity and specificity of GC-IPL measurements for the detection of central VF progression were calculated in an event-based analysis using the calculated variability as a cut-off and were compared with those of central RNFL photographic assessment. Results The intersession test-retest variability, defined as the 95% confidence interval, was 1.76 µm for average GC-IPL thickness. The sensitivity and specificity of the average GC-IPL thickness for detecting central VF progression were 60.7% and 78.9%, respectively. Among six sectors, the inferonasal GC-IPL sector showed the highest sensitivity (53.6%). The sensitivity of the ≥1 sector GC-IPL to detect central VF progression was significantly higher than that of central RNFL photographic progression (p = 0.013). Other GC-IPL parameters showed comparable sensitivity and specificity to detect central VF progression compared with RNFL photographic progression. Conclusions Serial GC-IPL measurements show comparable performance in the detection of central glaucomatous VF progression to RNFL photographic assessment. PMID:27980364
Cao, Dingcai; Nicandro, Nathaniel; Barrionuevo, Pablo A.
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) can respond to light directly through self-contained photopigment, melanopsin. IpRGCs also receive synaptic inputs from rods and cones. Thus, studying ipRGC functions requires a novel photostimulating method that can account for all of the photoreceptor inputs. Here, we introduced an inexpensive LED-based five-primary photostimulator that can control the excitations of rods, S-, M-, L-cones, and melanopsin-containing ipRGCs in humans at constant background photoreceptor excitation levels, a critical requirement for studying the adaptation behavior of ipRGCs with rod, cone, or melanopsin input. We described the theory and technical aspects (including optics, electronics, software, and calibration) of the five-primary photostimulator. Then we presented two preliminary studies using the photostimulator we have implemented to measure melanopsin-mediated pupil responses and temporal contrast sensitivity function (TCSF). The results showed that the S-cone input to pupil responses was antagonistic to the L-, M- or melanopsin inputs, consistent with an S-OFF and (L + M)-ON response property of primate ipRGCs (Dacey et al., 2005). In addition, the melanopsin-mediated TCSF had a distinctive pattern compared with L + M or S-cone mediated TCSF. Other than controlling individual photoreceptor excitation independently, the five-primary photostimulator has the flexibility in presenting stimuli modulating any combination of photoreceptor excitations, which allows researchers to study the mechanisms by which ipRGCs combine various photoreceptor inputs. PMID:25624466
Yang, Fan; Wang, Dongmei; Wu, Lingling; Li, Ying
Purpose To study the effects of triptolide, a Chinese herb extract, on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a rat model of chronic glaucoma. Methods Eighty Wistar rats were randomly divided into triptolide group (n=40) and normal saline (NS) group (n=40). Angle photocoagulation was used to establish the model of glaucoma, with right eye as laser treated eye and left eye as control eye. Triptolide group received triptolide intraperitoneally daily, while NS group received NS. Intraocular pressure (IOP), anti-CD11b immunofluorescent stain in retina and optic nerve, RGCs count with Nissel stain and microglia count with anti-CD11b immunofluorescence stain in retina flat mounts, retinal tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α mRNA detection by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction, and double immunofluorescent labeling with anti-TNF-α and anti-CD11b in retinal frozen section were performed. Results Mean IOP of the laser treated eyes significantly increased 3 weeks after photocoagulation (P<0.05), with no statistical difference between the two groups (P>0.05). RGCs survival in the laser treated eyes was significantly improved in the triptolide group than the NS group (P<0.05). Microglia count in superficial retina of the laser treated eyes was significantly less in the triptolide group (30.40±4.90) than the NS group (35.06±7.59) (P<0.05). TNF-α mRNA expression in the retina of the laser treated eyes in the triptolide group decreased by 60% compared with that in the NS group (P<0.01). The double immunofluorescent labeling showed that TNF-α was mainly distributed around the microglia. Conclusion Triptolide improved RGCs survival in this rat model of chronic glaucoma, which did not depend on IOP decrease but might be exerted by inhibiting microglia activities and reducing TNF-α secretion. PMID:26604697
Soares, Célia A.; Mason, Carol A.
During development of the mammalian eye, the first retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that extend to the brain are located in the dorsocentral retina. These RGCs extend to either ipsilateral or contralateral targets, but the ipsilateral projections do not survive into postnatal periods. The function and means of disappearance of the transient ipsilateral projection are not known. We have followed the course of this transient early ipsilateral cohort of RGCs, paying attention to how far they extend, whether they enter targets and if so, which ones, and the time course of their disappearance. The dorsocentral ipsilateral RGC axons were traced using DiI labeling at E13.5 and 15.5 to compare the proportion of ipsi-versus contralateral projections during the first period of growth. In utero electroporation of E12.5 retina with GFP constructs was used to label axons that could be visualized at succeeding time points into postnatal ages. Our results show that the earliest ipsilateral axons grow along the cellular border of the brain, and are segregated from the laterally-postioned contralateral axons from the same retinal origin. In agreement with previous reports, although many early RGCs extend ipsilaterally, after E16 their number rapidly declines. Nonetheless, some ipsilateral axons from the dorsocentral retina enter the superior colliculus (SC) and arborize minimally, but very few enter the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and those that do extend only short branches. While the mechanism of selective axonal disappearance remains elusive, these data give further insight into establishment of the visual pathways. PMID:25788284
Barrett, John M.; Degenaar, Patrick; Sernagor, Evelyne
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive retinal dystrophy that causes visual impairment and eventual blindness. Retinal prostheses are the best currently available vision-restoring treatment for RP, but only restore crude vision. One possible contributing factor to the poor quality of vision achieved with prosthetic devices is the pathological retinal ganglion cell (RGC) hyperactivity that occurs in photoreceptor dystrophic disorders. Gap junction blockade with meclofenamic acid (MFA) was recently shown to diminish RGC hyperactivity and improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of RGC responses to light flashes and electrical stimulation in the rd10 mouse model of RP. We sought to extend these results to spatiotemporally patterned optogenetic stimulation in the faster-degenerating rd1 model and compare the effectiveness of a number of drugs known to disrupt rd1 hyperactivity. We crossed rd1 mice with a transgenic mouse line expressing the light-sensitive cation channel channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) in RGCs, allowing them to be stimulated directly using high-intensity blue light. We used 60-channel ITO multielectrode arrays to record ChR2-mediated RGC responses from wholemount, ex-vivo retinas to full-field and patterned stimuli before and after application of MFA, 18-β-glycyrrhetinic acid (18BGA, another gap junction blocker) or flupirtine (Flu, a Kv7 potassium channel opener). All three drugs decreased spontaneous RGC firing, but 18BGA and Flu also decreased the sensitivity of RGCs to optogenetic stimulation. Nevertheless, all three drugs improved the SNR of ChR2-mediated responses. MFA also made it easier to discern motion direction of a moving bar from RGC population responses. Our results support the hypothesis that reduction of pathological RGC spontaneous activity characteristic in retinal degenerative disorders may improve the quality of visual responses in retinal prostheses and they provide insights into how best to achieve this for optogenetic prostheses
Padilla, S.S.; Lyerly, D.P. )
Although the solvent xylene is suspected of producing nervous system dysfunction in animals and humans, little is known regarding the neurochemical consequences of xylene inhalation. The intent of this study was to determine the effect of intermittent, acute, and subchronic p-xylene exposure on the axonal transport of proteins and glycoproteins within the rat retinofugal tract. A number of different exposure regimens were tested ranging from 50 ppm for a single 6-hr exposure to 1600 ppm 6 hr/day, 5 days/week, for a total of 8 exposure days. Immediately following removal from the inhalation chambers rats were injected intraocularly with (35S)methionine and (3H)fucose (to label retinal proteins and glycoproteins, respectively) and the axonal transport of labeled macromolecules to axons (optic nerve and optic tract) and nerve endings (lateral geniculate body and superior colliculus) was examined 20 hr after precursor injection. Only relatively severe exposure regimens (i.e., 800 or 1600 ppm 6 hr/day, 5 days/week, for 1.5 weeks) produced significant reductions in axonal transport; there was a moderate reduction in the axonal transport of 35S-labeled proteins in the 800-ppm-treated group which was more widespread in the 1600 ppm-treated group. Transport of 3H-labeled glycoproteins was less affected. Assessment of retinal metabolism immediately after isotope injection indicated that the rate of precursor uptake was not reduced in either treatment group. Furthermore, rapid transport was still substantially reduced in animals exposed to 1600 ppm p-xylene and allowed a 13-day withdrawal period. These data indicate that p-xylene inhalation decreases rapid axonal transport supplied to the projections of the rat retinal ganglion cells immediately after cessation of inhalation exposure and that this decreased transport is still apparent 13 days after the last exposure.
Cruz-Martín, Alberto; El-Danaf, Rana N.; Osakada, Fumitaka; Sriram, Balaji; Dhande, Onkar S.; Nguyen, Phong L.; Callaway, Edward M.; Ghosh, Anirvan; Huberman, Andrew D.
How specific features in the environment are represented within the brain is an important unanswered question in neuroscience. A subset of retinal neurons, called direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs), are specialized for detecting motion along specific axes of the visual field. Despite extensive study of the retinal circuitry that endows DSGCs with their unique tuning properties, their downstream circuitry in the brain and thus their contribution to visual processing has remained unclear. In mice, several different types of DSGCs connect to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), the visual thalamic structure that harbours cortical relay neurons. Whether direction-selective information computed at the level of the retina is routed to cortical circuits and integrated with other visual channels, however, is unknown. Here we show that there is a di-synaptic circuit linking DSGCs with the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) by using viral trans-synaptic circuit mapping and functional imaging of visually driven calcium signals in thalamocortical axons. This circuit pools information from several types of DSGCs, converges in a specialized subdivision of the dLGN, and delivers direction-tuned and orientation-tuned signals to superficial V1. Notably, this circuit is anatomically segregated from the retino-geniculo-cortical pathway carrying non-direction-tuned visual information to deeper layers of V1, such as layer 4. Thus, the mouse harbours several functionally specialized, parallel retino-geniculo-cortical pathways, one of which originates with retinal DSGCs and delivers direction- and orientation-tuned information specifically to the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex. These data provide evidence that direction and orientation selectivity of some V1 neurons may be influenced by the activation of DSGCs.
Jensen, Ralph J.; Ziv, Ofer R.; Rizzo, Joseph F.
Rational selection of electrical stimulus parameters for an electronic retinal prosthesis requires knowledge of the electrophysiological responses of retinal neurons to electrical stimuli. In this study, we examined the effects of cathodal and anodal current pulses on the extracellularly recorded responses of OFF and ON rabbit retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in an in vitro preparation. Current pulses (1 msec duration), delivered by a 125 µm electrode placed on the inner retinal surface within the receptive field of a RGC, produced both short-latency (<=5 msec) and long-latency (8-60 msec) responses. The long-latency responses, but not the short-latency responses, were abolished upon application of the glutamate receptor antagonists CNQX and NBQX, thus indicating that the long-latency responses of RGCs are due to activation of presynaptic neurons in the retina. The latency of the long-latency response depended upon the polarity of the stimulus. For OFF RGCs, the average latency was 11 msec for a cathodal stimulus and 24 msec for an anodal stimulus. For ON RGCs, the average latency was 25 msec for a cathodal stimulus and 16 msec for an anodal stimulus. The threshold current also depended upon the polarity of the stimulus, at least for OFF RGCs. The average threshold current for evoking a long-latency response in OFF RGCs was 10 µA for a cathodal stimulus and 21 µA for an anodal stimulus. In ON RGCs, the average threshold current was 13 µA for a cathodal stimulus and 15 µA for an anodal stimulus.
Kita, Yoshiyuki; Soutome, Norihisa; Horie, Daisuke; Kita, Ritsuko; Hollό, Gábor
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the applicability of a new optical coherence tomography parameter, the circumpapillary ganglion cell complex (cpGCC) thickness for glaucoma diagnostics. Subjects and Methods: The RS-3000 Advance SD-OCT (NIDEK, Aichi, Japan) was used to measure global and sector macular GCC (mGCC) thickness, circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (cpRNFL) thickness, cpGCC, and circumpapillary total retina (cpTR) thickness in 1 eye of 48 preperimetric/early perimetric primary open-angle glaucoma patients and 28 healthy Japanese participants. Area under the receiver-operating characteristic (AUROC) curves were used for between-method comparisons. Results: All global and sector parameters except for the nasal sector differed significantly between the patient groups (P ≤ 0.009). The AUROC for global mGCC (0.917) was significantly higher (P < 0.01) than that for global cpRNFL (0.760), global cpGCC (0.828), and global cpTR (0.812). The AUROC values of global and temporal cpGCC were significantly higher than those of the corresponding cpRNFL parameters (P < 0.05). Correlation between the visual field means deviation and each of the global thickness parameters was similar (r: 0.418–0.473, P < 0.001). At >90% specificity, the cpGCC, cpTR, and cpRNFL were able to detect 4%, 10%, and 0% of glaucoma eyes that were not detected by the mGCC thickness. Conclusions: In Japanese eyes, the diagnostic accuracy of cpGCC is lower than that of mGCC but higher than that of cpRNFL. Our results suggest that the use of cpGCC may not improve glaucoma diagnostics when there is no macular disease but may be of benefit when macular diseases prevent successful mGCC measurements. PMID:28300739
Zhou, Minwen; Lu, Bing; Zhao, Jingke; Wang, Qiu; Zhang, Pengfei; Sun, Xiaodong
Purpose To report interocular differences in macular ganglion cell complex (mGCC) thickness in young Chinese subjects using RTVue-100 optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods This was an observational, cross-sectional study. The mGCC thickness was measured in 158young Chinese subjects using RTVue-100 OCT. The normal ranges of the interocular differences were determined as falling between the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles. Right and left eyes were compared using a paired t test. Pearson correlation analysis was performed to assess the relationships between mGCC thickness and other potential factors. The relationships between the interocular difference in the average mGCC thickness and the potential factors were evaluated by univariate and multivariate linear regression analysis. Results The mean interocular difference in the average, superior, and inferior mGCC thickness were 0.19 ± 2.69 μm, 0.22 ±3.14 μm, and 0.25±3.34 μm, respectively, which were not statistically significant. The 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of interocular difference for mean average mGCC thickness were -4.82μm and 4.38μm, for superior mGCC thickness, -6.67 μm and 7.04 μm, and for inferior mGCC thickness, -6.75 μm and 6.27 μm. There was a strong correlation between the right and left eyes for all the studied parameters, including spherical equivalent (SE) and axial length (AL). Interocular difference in SE (p = 0.007) were independently correlated with the interocular difference in average mGCC thickness. Conclusions There was no significant relative interocular difference in mGCC thickness in young Chinese subjects. Interocular difference exceeding the normal limits should be considered significantly asymmetrical, and suggestive of pathology. PMID:27454283
Cruz-Martín, Alberto; El-Danaf, Rana N; Osakada, Fumitaka; Sriram, Balaji; Dhande, Onkar S; Nguyen, Phong L; Callaway, Edward M; Ghosh, Anirvan; Huberman, Andrew D
How specific features in the environment are represented within the brain is an important unanswered question in neuroscience. A subset of retinal neurons, called direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs), are specialized for detecting motion along specific axes of the visual field. Despite extensive study of the retinal circuitry that endows DSGCs with their unique tuning properties, their downstream circuitry in the brain and thus their contribution to visual processing has remained unclear. In mice, several different types of DSGCs connect to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), the visual thalamic structure that harbours cortical relay neurons. Whether direction-selective information computed at the level of the retina is routed to cortical circuits and integrated with other visual channels, however, is unknown. Here we show that there is a di-synaptic circuit linking DSGCs with the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) by using viral trans-synaptic circuit mapping and functional imaging of visually driven calcium signals in thalamocortical axons. This circuit pools information from several types of DSGCs, converges in a specialized subdivision of the dLGN, and delivers direction-tuned and orientation-tuned signals to superficial V1. Notably, this circuit is anatomically segregated from the retino-geniculo-cortical pathway carrying non-direction-tuned visual information to deeper layers of V1, such as layer 4. Thus, the mouse harbours several functionally specialized, parallel retino-geniculo-cortical pathways, one of which originates with retinal DSGCs and delivers direction- and orientation-tuned information specifically to the superficial layers of the primary visual cortex. These data provide evidence that direction and orientation selectivity of some V1 neurons may be influenced by the activation of DSGCs.
McGreevy, Paul; Grassi, Tanya D; Harman, Alison M
The domestic dog, CANIS LUPUS FAMILIARIS, is a subspecies of the gray wolf, CANIS LUPUS, with almost identical mitochondrial DNA. The dog is the most diverse species on earth, with skull length varying between 7 and 28 cm whereas the wolf skull is around 30 cm long. However, eye size in dogs does not appear to vary as much. For example, small dogs such as the chihuahua appear to have very large eyes in proportion to the skull. Our aim was to examine eye size and retinal cell numbers and distribution to determine whether the dog eye exhibits as much variation as the skull. We found a correlation between eye radius and skull dimensions. However, the most surprising finding was that the distribution of ganglion cells in the eye varied tremendously from a horizontally aligned visual streak of fairly even density across the retina (as seen in the wolf) to a strong area centralis with virtually no streak (for example, as observed in a pug from the current series). This variation in ganglion cell density within a single species is quite unique. Intriguingly, the ratio of peak ganglion cell density in the area centralis to visual streak was highly negatively correlated with skull length (r = -0.795, n = 22) and positively correlated with cephalic index (r = 0.687, n = 22). The orientation of eyelid aperture was also correlated with cephalic index (r = 0.648, n = 22). Therefore, the genetic manipulation of selective breeding, which has produced an abnormal shortening of the skull and eyelids with less lateral apertures, has also produced a considerably more pronounced area centralis in the dog.
Gunawan, Agus Indra; Hozumi, Naohiro; Takahashi, Kenta; Yoshida, Sachiko; Saijo, Yoshifumi; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Yamamoto, Seiji
A new technique is proposed for non-contact quantitative cell observation using focused ultrasonic waves. This technique interprets acoustic reflection intensity into the characteristic acoustic impedance of the biological cell. The cells are cultured on a plastic film substrate. A focused acoustic beam is transmitted through the substrate to its interface with the cell. A two-dimensional (2-D) reflection intensity profile is obtained by scanning the focal point along the interface. A reference substance is observed under the same conditions. These two reflections are compared and interpreted into the characteristic acoustic impedance of the cell based on a calibration curve that was created prior to the observation. To create the calibration curve, a numerical analysis of the sound field is performed using Fourier Transforms and is verified using several saline solutions. Because the cells are suspended by two plastic films, no contamination is introduced during the observation. In a practical observation, a sapphire lens transducer with a center frequency of 300 MHz was employed using ZnO thin film. The objects studied were co-cultured rat-derived glial (astrocyte) cells and glioma cells. The result was the clear observation of the internal structure of the cells. The acoustic impedance of the cells was spreading between 1.62 and 1.72 MNs/m(3). Cytoskeleton was indicated by high acoustic impedance. The introduction of cytochalasin-B led to a significant reduction in the acoustic impedance of the glioma cells; its effect on the glial cells was less significant. It is believed that this non-contact observation method will be useful for continuous cell inspections.
Bieda, Mark C; Copenhagen, David R
Synaptically localized calcium channels shape the timecourse of synaptic release, are a prominent site for neuromodulation, and have been implicated in genetic disease. In retina, it is well established that L-type calcium channels play a major role in mediating release of glutamate from the photoreceptors and bipolar cells. However, little is known about which calcium channels are coupled to synaptic exocytosis of glycine, which is primarily released by amacrine cells. A recent report indicates that glycine release from spiking AII amacrine cells relies exclusively upon L-type calcium channels. To identify calcium channel types controlling neurotransmitter release from the population of glycinergic neurons that drive retinal ganglion cells, we recorded electrical and potassium evoked inhibitory synaptic currents (IPSCs) from these postsynaptic neurons in retinal slices from tiger salamanders. The L-channel antagonist nifedipine strongly inhibited release and FPL64176, an L-channel agonist, greatly enhanced it, indicating a significant role for L-channels. omega-Conotoxin MVIIC, an N/P/Q-channel antagonist, strongly inhibited release, indicating an important role for non-L channels. While the P/Q-channel blocker omega-Aga IVA produced only small effects, the N-channel blocker omega-conotoxin GVIA strongly inhibited release. Hence, N-type and L-type calcium channels appear to play major roles, overall, in mediating synaptic release of glycine onto retinal ganglion cells.
Unterlauft, Jan Darius; Claudepierre, Thomas; Schmidt, Manuela; Müller, Katja; Yafai, Yousef; Wiedemann, Peter; Reichenbach, Andreas; Eichler, Wolfram
The death of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) leads to visual impairment and blindness in ocular neurodegenerative diseases, primarily in glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy; hence, mechanisms that contribute to protecting RGC from ischemia/hypoxia are of great interest. We here address the role of retinal glial (Müller) cells and of pigment-epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), one of the main neuroprotectants released from the glial cells. We show that the hypoxia-induced loss in the viability of cultured purified RGC is due to apoptosis, but that the number of viable RGC increases when co-cultured with Müller glial cells suggesting that glial soluble mediators attenuate the death of RGC. When PEDF was ablated from Müller cells a significantly lower number of RGC survived in RGC-Müller cell co-cultures indicating that PEDF is a major survival factor allowing RGC to escape cell death. We further found that RGC express a PEDF receptor known as patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 2 (PNPLA2) and that PEDF exposure, as well as the presence of Müller cells, leads to an activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB in RGC. Furthermore, adding an NF-κB inhibitor (SN50) to PEDF-treated RGC cultures reduced the survival of RGC. These findings strongly suggest that NF-κB activation in RGC is critically involved in the pro-survival action of Müller-cell derived PEDF and plays an important role in maintaining neuronal survival.
Nashine, Sonali; Liu, Yang; Kim, Byung-Jin; Clark, Abbot F.; Pang, Iok-Hou
Purpose. To investigate the role of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), a proapoptotic protein, and the unfolded protein response (UPR) marker that is involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis in mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death following ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Methods. Retinal I/R injury was induced in adult C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) and CHOP knockout (Chop−/−) mice by raising IOP to 120 mm Hg for 60 minutes. Expression of CHOP and other UPR markers was studied by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Retinal ganglion cell counts were performed in retinal flat mounts stained with an RGC marker. Retinal ganglion cell function was evaluated by scotopic threshold response (STR) electroretinography. Results. In WT mice, retinal CHOP was upregulated by 30% in I/R-injured eyes compared to uninjured eyes 3 days after injury (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemistry confirmed CHOP upregulation specifically in RGCs. CHOP knockout did not affect baseline RGC density or STR amplitude. Ischemia/reperfusion injury decreased RGC densities and STR amplitudes in both WT and Chop−/− mice. However, survival of RGCs in I/R-injured Chop−/− mouse was 48% higher (P < 0.05) than that in I/R-injured WT mouse 3 days after I/R injury. Similarly, RGC density was significantly higher in Chop−/− eyes at 7, 14, and 28 days after I/R injury. Scotopic threshold response amplitudes of Chop−/− mice were significantly higher at 3 and 7 days after I/R than those of WT mice. Conclusions. Absence of CHOP partially protects against RGC loss and reduction in retinal function after I/R injury, indicating that CHOP and, thus, ER stress play an important role in RGC apoptosis in retinal I/R injury. PMID:25414185
Schwarz, Hans-Christoph; Kranz, Katharina; Motz, Damian; Vogt, Carla; Lenarz, Thomas; Warnecke, Athanasia; Behrens, Peter
Cochlear and deep brain implants are prominent examples for neuronal prostheses with clinical relevance. Current research focuses on the improvement of the long-term functionality and the size reduction of neural interface electrodes. A promising approach is the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), either as pure electrodes but especially as coating material for electrodes. The interaction of CNTs with neuronal cells has shown promising results in various studies, but these appear to depend on the specific type of neurons as well as on the kind of nanotubes. To evaluate a potential application of carbon nanotube coatings for cochlear electrodes, it is necessary to investigate the cytocompatibility of carbon nanotube coatings on platinum for the specific type of neuron in the inner ear, namely spiral ganglion neurons. In this study we have combined the chemical processing of as-delivered CNTs, the fabrication of coatings on platinum, and the characterization of the electrical properties of the coatings as well as a general cytocompatibility testing and the first cell culture investigations of CNTs with spiral ganglion neurons. By applying a modification process to three different as-received CNTs via a reflux treatment with nitric acid, long-term stable aqueous CNT dispersions free of dispersing agents were obtained. These were used to coat platinum substrates by an automated spray-coating process. These coatings enhance the electrical properties of platinum electrodes, decreasing the impedance values and raising the capacitances. Cell culture investigations of the different CNT coatings on platinum with NIH3T3 fibroblasts attest an overall good cytocompatibility of these coatings. For spiral ganglion neurons, this can also be observed but a desired positive effect of the CNTs on the neurons is absent. Furthermore, we found that the well-established DAPI staining assay does not function on the coatings prepared from single-wall nanotubes. PMID:27385031
Burblies, Niklas; Schulze, Jennifer; Schwarz, Hans-Christoph; Kranz, Katharina; Motz, Damian; Vogt, Carla; Lenarz, Thomas; Warnecke, Athanasia; Behrens, Peter
Cochlear and deep brain implants are prominent examples for neuronal prostheses with clinical relevance. Current research focuses on the improvement of the long-term functionality and the size reduction of neural interface electrodes. A promising approach is the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), either as pure electrodes but especially as coating material for electrodes. The interaction of CNTs with neuronal cells has shown promising results in various studies, but these appear to depend on the specific type of neurons as well as on the kind of nanotubes. To evaluate a potential application of carbon nanotube coatings for cochlear electrodes, it is necessary to investigate the cytocompatibility of carbon nanotube coatings on platinum for the specific type of neuron in the inner ear, namely spiral ganglion neurons. In this study we have combined the chemical processing of as-delivered CNTs, the fabrication of coatings on platinum, and the characterization of the electrical properties of the coatings as well as a general cytocompatibility testing and the first cell culture investigations of CNTs with spiral ganglion neurons. By applying a modification process to three different as-received CNTs via a reflux treatment with nitric acid, long-term stable aqueous CNT dispersions free of dispersing agents were obtained. These were used to coat platinum substrates by an automated spray-coating process. These coatings enhance the electrical properties of platinum electrodes, decreasing the impedance values and raising the capacitances. Cell culture investigations of the different CNT coatings on platinum with NIH3T3 fibroblasts attest an overall good cytocompatibility of these coatings. For spiral ganglion neurons, this can also be observed but a desired positive effect of the CNTs on the neurons is absent. Furthermore, we found that the well-established DAPI staining assay does not function on the coatings prepared from single-wall nanotubes.
Mure, Ludovic S.; Massman, Logan J.; Purrier, Nicole; Panda, Satchidananda; Engeland, William C.
Light is a powerful entrainer of circadian clocks in almost all eukaryotic organisms promoting synchronization of internal circadian rhythms with external environmental light-dark (LD) cycles. In mammals, the circadian system is organized in a hierarchical manner, in which a central pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) synchronizes oscillators in peripheral tissues. Recent evidence demonstrates that photoentrainment of the SCN proceeds via signaling from a subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) which are melanopsin-expressing and intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs). However, it is still unclear whether photoentrainment of peripheral clocks is mediated exclusively by the ipRGC system or if signaling from RGCs that do not express melanopsin also plays a role. Here we have used genetic “silencing” of ipRGC neurotransmission in mice to investigate whether this photoreceptive system is obligatory for the photoentrainment of peripheral circadian clocks. Genetic silencing of ipRGC neurotransmission in mice was achieved by expression of tetanus toxin light chain in melanopsin-expressing cells (Opn4::TeNT mouse line). Rhythms of the clock gene Period 2 in various peripheral tissues were measured by crossbreeding Opn4::TeNT mice with PER2 luciferase knock-in mice (mPER2Luc). We found that in Opn4::TeNT mice the pupillary light reflex, light modulation of activity, and circadian photoentrainment of locomotor activity were severely impaired. Furthermore, ex vivo cultures from Opn4::TeNT, mPER2Luc mice of the adrenal gland, cornea, lung, liver, pituitary and spleen exhibited robust circadian rhythms of PER2::LUC bioluminescence. However, their peak bioluminescence rhythms were not aligned to the projected LD cycles indicating their lack of photic entrainment in vivo. Finally, we found that the circadian rhythm in adrenal corticosterone in Opn4::TeNT mice, as monitored by in vivo subcutaneous microdialysis, was desynchronized from environmental LD cycles
Kofuji, Paulo; Mure, Ludovic S; Massman, Logan J; Purrier, Nicole; Panda, Satchidananda; Engeland, William C
Light is a powerful entrainer of circadian clocks in almost all eukaryotic organisms promoting synchronization of internal circadian rhythms with external environmental light-dark (LD) cycles. In mammals, the circadian system is organized in a hierarchical manner, in which a central pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) synchronizes oscillators in peripheral tissues. Recent evidence demonstrates that photoentrainment of the SCN proceeds via signaling from a subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) which are melanopsin-expressing and intrinsically photosensitive (ipRGCs). However, it is still unclear whether photoentrainment of peripheral clocks is mediated exclusively by the ipRGC system or if signaling from RGCs that do not express melanopsin also plays a role. Here we have used genetic "silencing" of ipRGC neurotransmission in mice to investigate whether this photoreceptive system is obligatory for the photoentrainment of peripheral circadian clocks. Genetic silencing of ipRGC neurotransmission in mice was achieved by expression of tetanus toxin light chain in melanopsin-expressing cells (Opn4::TeNT mouse line). Rhythms of the clock gene Period 2 in various peripheral tissues were measured by crossbreeding Opn4::TeNT mice with PER2 luciferase knock-in mice (mPER2Luc). We found that in Opn4::TeNT mice the pupillary light reflex, light modulation of activity, and circadian photoentrainment of locomotor activity were severely impaired. Furthermore, ex vivo cultures from Opn4::TeNT, mPER2Luc mice of the adrenal gland, cornea, lung, liver, pituitary and spleen exhibited robust circadian rhythms of PER2::LUC bioluminescence. However, their peak bioluminescence rhythms were not aligned to the projected LD cycles indicating their lack of photic entrainment in vivo. Finally, we found that the circadian rhythm in adrenal corticosterone in Opn4::TeNT mice, as monitored by in vivo subcutaneous microdialysis, was desynchronized from environmental LD cycles. Our
Liu, F; Weng, S-J; Yang, X-L; Zhong, Y-M
Two neuropeptides, orexin-A and orexin-B (also called hypocretin-1 and -2), have been implicated in sleep/wake regulation, feeding behaviors via the activation of two subtypes of G-protein-coupled receptors: orexin 1 and orexin 2 receptors (OX1R and OX2R). While the expression of orexins and orexin receptors is immunohistochemically revealed in retinal neurons, the function of these peptides in the retina is largely unknown. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in rat retinal slices, we demonstrated that orexin-A increased L-type-like barium currents (IBa,L) in ganglion cells (GCs), and the effect was blocked by the selective OX1R antagonist SB334867, but not by the OX2R antagonist TCS OX2 29. The orexin-A effect was abolished by intracellular dialysis of GDP-β-S/GPAnt-2A, a Gq protein inhibitor, suggesting the mediation of Gq. Additionally, during internal dialysis of the phosphatidylinositol (PI)-phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122, orexin-A did not change the IBa,L of GCs, whereas the orexin-A effect persisted in the presence of the phosphatidylcholine (PC)-PLC inhibitor D609. The orexin-A-induced potentiation was not seen with internal infusion of Ca(2+)-free solution or when inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-sensitive Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores was blocked by heparin/xestospongins-C. Moreover, the orexin-A effect was mimicked by the protein kinase C (PKC) activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, but was eliminated when PKC was inhibited by bisindolylmaleimide IV (Bis-IV)/Gö6976. Neither adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) nor guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP)-protein kinase G (PKG) signaling pathway was likely involved, as orexin-A persisted to potentiate the IBa,L of GCs no matter these two pathways were activated or inhibited. These results suggest that, by activating OX1R, orexin-A potentiates the IBa,L of rat GCs through a distinct Gq/PI-PLC/IP3/Ca(2+)/PKC signaling pathway.
Soto, Ileana; Marie, Bruno; Baro, Deborah J; Blanco, Rosa E
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF or FGF-2) has been implicated as a trophic factor that promotes survival and neurite outgrowth of neurons. We found previously that application of FGF-2 to the proximal stump of the injured axon increases retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival. We determine here the effect of FGF-2 on expression of the axonal growth-associated phosphoprotein (GAP)-43 in retinal ganglion cells and tectum of Rana pipiens during regeneration of the optic nerve. In control retinas, GAP-43 protein was found in the optic fiber layer and in optic nerve; mRNA levels were low. After axotomy, mRNA levels increased sevenfold and GAP-43 protein was significantly increased. GAP-43 was localized in retinal axons and in a subset of RGC cell bodies and dendrites. This upregulation of GAP-43 was sustained through the period in which retinal axons reconnect with their target in the tectum. FGF-2 application to the injured nerve, but not to the eyeball, increased GAP-43 mRNA in the retina but decreased GAP-43 protein levels and decreased the number of immunopositive cell bodies. In the tectum, no treatment affected GAP-43 mRNA but FGF-2 application to the axotomized optic nerve increased GAP-43 protein in regenerating retinal projections. We conclude that FGF-2 upregulates the synthesis and alters the distribution of the axonal growth-promoting protein GAP-43, suggesting that it may enhance axonal regrowth.
Vetter, Monica L.; Hitchcock, Peter F.
This report emerges from a workshop convened by the National Eye Institute (NEI) as part of the “Audacious Goals Initiative” (AGI). The workshop addressed the replacement of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from exogenous and endogenous sources, and sought to identify the gaps in our knowledge and barriers to progress in devising cellular replacement therapies for diseases where RGCs die. Here, we briefly review relevant literature regarding common diseases associated with RGC death, the genesis of RGCs in vivo, strategies for generating transplantable RGCs in vitro, and potential endogenous cellular sources to regenerate these cells. These topics provided the clinical and scientific context for the discussion among the workshop participants and are relevant to efforts that may lead to therapeutic approaches for replacing RGCs. This report also summarizes the content of the workshop discussion, which focused on: (1) cell sources for RGC replacement and regeneration, (2) optimizing integration, survival, and synaptogenesis of new RGCs, and (3) approaches for assessing the outcomes of RGC replacement therapies. We conclude this report with a summary of recommendations, based on the workshop discussions, which may guide vision scientists seeking to develop therapies for replacing RGCs in humans. PMID:28316878
Nayagam, Bryony A; Muniak, Michael A; Ryugo, David K
In mammals, the initial bridge between the physical world of sound and perception of that sound is established by neurons of the spiral ganglion. The cell bodies of these neurons give rise to peripheral processes that contact acoustic receptors in the organ of Corti, and the central processes collect together to form the auditory nerve that projects into the brain. In order to better understand hearing at this initial stage, we need to know the following about spiral ganglion neurons: (1) their cell biology including cytoplasmic, cytoskeletal, and membrane properties, (2) their peripheral and central connections including synaptic structure; (3) the nature of their neural signaling; and (4) their capacity for plasticity and rehabilitation. In this report, we will update the progress on these topics and indicate important issues still awaiting resolution. PMID:21530629
Katz, Matthew L; Viney, Tim J; Nikolic, Konstantin
Sensory stimuli are encoded by diverse kinds of neurons but the identities of the recorded neurons that are studied are often unknown. We explored in detail the firing patterns of eight previously defined genetically-identified retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types from a single transgenic mouse line. We first introduce a new technique of deriving receptive field vectors (RFVs) which utilises a modified form of mutual information ("Quadratic Mutual Information"). We analysed the firing patterns of RGCs during presentation of short duration (~10 second) complex visual scenes (natural movies). We probed the high dimensional space formed by the visual input for a much smaller dimensional subspace of RFVs that give the most information about the response of each cell. The new technique is very efficient and fast and the derivation of novel types of RFVs formed by the natural scene visual input was possible even with limited numbers of spikes per cell. This approach enabled us to estimate the 'visual memory' of each cell type and the corresponding receptive field area by calculating Mutual Information as a function of the number of frames and radius. Finally, we made predictions of biologically relevant functions based on the RFVs of each cell type. RGC class analysis was complemented with results for the cells' response to simple visual input in the form of black and white spot stimulation, and their classification on several key physiological metrics. Thus RFVs lead to predictions of biological roles based on limited data and facilitate analysis of sensory-evoked spiking data from defined cell types.
Kameneva, T.; Maturana, M. I.; Hadjinicolaou, A. E.; Cloherty, S. L.; Ibbotson, M. R.; Grayden, D. B.; Burkitt, A. N.; Meffin, H.
Objective. ON and OFF retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are known to have non-monotonic responses to increasing amplitudes of high frequency (2 kHz) biphasic electrical stimulation. That is, an increase in stimulation amplitude causes an increase in the cell’s spike rate up to a peak value above which further increases in stimulation amplitude cause the cell to decrease its activity. The peak response for ON and OFF cells occurs at different stimulation amplitudes, which allows differential stimulation of these functional cell types. In this study, we investigate the mechanisms underlying the non-monotonic responses of ON and OFF brisk-transient RGCs and the mechanisms underlying their differential responses. Approach. Using in vitro patch-clamp recordings from rat RGCs, together with simulations of single and multiple compartment Hodgkin-Huxley models, we show that the non-monotonic response to increasing amplitudes of stimulation is due to depolarization block, a change in the membrane potential that prevents the cell from generating action potentials. Main results. We show that the onset for depolarization block depends on the amplitude and frequency of stimulation and reveal the biophysical mechanisms that lead to depolarization block during high frequency stimulation. Our results indicate that differences in transmembrane potassium conductance lead to shifts of the stimulus currents that generate peak spike rates, suggesting that the differential responses of ON and OFF cells may be due to differences in the expression of this current type. We also show that the length of the axon’s high sodium channel band (SOCB) affects non-monotonic responses and the stimulation amplitude that leads to the peak spike rate, suggesting that the length of the SOCB is shorter in ON cells. Significance. This may have important implications for stimulation strategies in visual prostheses.
Background Proper binocular vision depends on the routing at the optic chiasm of the correct proportion of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons that project to the same (ipsilateral) and opposite (contralateral) side of the brain. The ipsilateral RGC projection is reduced in mammals with albinism, a congenital disorder characterized by deficient pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. Compared to the pigmented embryonic mouse retina, the albino embryonic mouse retina has fewer RGCs that express the zinc-finger transcription factor, Zic2, which is transiently expressed by RGCs fated to project ipsilaterally. Here, using Zic2 as a marker of ipsilateral RGCs, Islet2 as a marker of contralateral RGCs, and birthdating, we investigate spatiotemporal dynamics of RGC production as they relate to the phenotype of diminished ipsilateral RGC number in the albino retina. Results At embryonic day (E)15.5, fewer Zic2-positive (Zic2+) RGCs are found in the albino ventrotemporal (VT) retina compared with the pigmented VT retina, as we previously reported. However, the reduction in Zic2+ RGCs in the albino is not accompanied by a compensatory increase in Zic2-negative (Zic2−) RGCs, resulting in fewer RGCs in the VT retina at this time point. At E17.5, however, the number of RGCs in the VT region is similar in pigmented and albino retinae, implicating a shift in the timing of RGC production in the albino. Short-term birthdating assays reveal a delay in RGC production in the albino VT retina between E13 and E15. Specifically, fewer Zic2+ RGCs are born at E13 and more Zic2− RGCs are born at E15. Consistent with an increase in the production of Zic2− RGCs born at later ages, more RGCs at E17.5 express the contralateral marker, Islet2, in the albino VT retina compared with the pigmented retina. Conclusions A delay in neurogenesis in the albino retina is linked to the alteration of RGC subtype specification and consequently leads to the reduced ipsilateral projection that
Zhang, Sheng-Hai; Gao, Feng-Juan; Sun, Zhong-Mou; Xu, Ping; Chen, Jun-Yi; Sun, Xing-Huai; Wu, Ji-Hong
Purpose: Our previous study indicated that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and mutations are crucial to the progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a glaucomatous rat model. In this study, we examined whether high pressure could directly cause mtDNA alterations and whether the latter could lead to mitochondrial dysfunction and RGC death. Methods: Primary cultured rat RGCs were exposed to 30 mm Hg of hydrostatic pressure (HP) for 12, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h. mtDNA alterations and mtDNA repair/replication enzymes OGG1, MYH and polymerase gamma (POLG) expressions were also analyzed. The RGCs were then infected with a lentiviral small hairpin RNA (shRNA) expression vector targeting POLG (POLG-shRNA), and mtDNA alterations as well as mitochondrial function, including complex I/III activities and ATP production were subsequently studied at appropriate times. Finally, RGC apoptosis and the mitochondrial-apoptosis pathway-related protein cleaved caspase-3 were detected using a Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay and western blotting, respectively. Results: mtDNA damage was observed as early as 48 h after the exposure of RGCs to HP. At 120 h after HP, mtDNA damage and mutations significantly increased, reaching >40% and 4.8 ± 0.3-fold, respectively, compared with the control values. Twelve hours after HP, the expressions of OGG1, MYH and POLG mRNA in the RGCs were obviously increased 5.02 ± 0.6-fold (p < 0.01), 4.3 ± 0.2-fold (p < 0.05), and 0.8 ± 0.09-fold (p < 0.05). Western blot analysis showed that the protein levels of the three enzymes decreased at 72 and 120 h after HP (p < 0.05). After interference with POLG-shRNA, the mtDNA damage and mutations were significantly increased (p < 0.01), while complex I/III activities gradually decreased (p < 0.05). Corresponding decreases in membrane potential and ATP production appeared at 5 and 6 days after POLG-shRNA transfection respectively (p < 0.05). Increases in the
This study aimed to modify a chronic ocular hypertension (OHT) rat model to screen for potential compounds to protect retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from responding to increased intraocular pressure (IOP). A total of 266 rats were prepared and randomly grouped according to different time-points, namely, weeks 3, 8, 16, and 24. Rats were sedated and eye examination was performed to score as the corneal damage on a scale of 1 to 4. The OHT rat model was created via the injection of a hypertonic saline solution into the episcleral veins once weekly for two weeks. OHT was identified when the IOP at week 0 was [Symbol: see text] 6 mmHg than that at week -2 for the same eye. Viable RGCs were labeled by injecting 4% FluoroGold. Rats were sacrificed, and the eyes were enucleated and fixed. The fixed retinas were dissected to prepare flat whole-mounts. The viable RGCs were visualized and imaged. The IOP (mean ± SD) was calculated, and data were analyzed by the paired t-test and one-way ANOVA. The OHT model was created in 234 of 266 rats (87.97%), whereas 32 rats (12.03%) were removed from the study because of the absence of IOP elevation (11.28%) and/or corneal damage scores over 4 (0.75%). IOP was elevated by as much as 81.35% for 24 weeks. The average IOP was (16.68 ± 0.98) mmHg in non-OHT eyes (n = 234), but was (27.95 ± 0.97) mmHg in OHTeyes (n = 234). Viable RGCs in the OHT eyes were significantly decreased in a time-dependent manner by 29.41%, 38.24%, 55.32%, and 59.30% at weeks 3, 8, 16, and 24, respectively, as compared to viable RGCs in the non-OHT eyes (P < 0.05). The OHT model was successfully created in 88% of the rats. The IOP in the OHT eyes was elevated by approximately 81% for 24 weeks. The number of viable RGCs was decreased by 59% of the rats in a time-dependent manner. The modified OHT model may provide an effective and reliable method for screening drugs to protect RGCs from glaucoma.
Zhao, Lei; Chen, Guojun; Li, Jun; Fu, Yingmei; Mavlyutov, Timur A; Yao, Annie; Nickells, Robert W; Gong, Shaoqin; Guo, Lian-Wang
Glaucoma is a common blinding disease characterized by loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). To date, there is no clinically available treatment directly targeting RGCs. We aim to develop an RGC-targeted intraocular drug delivery system using unimolecular micelle nanoparticles (unimNPs) to prevent RGC loss. The unimNPs were formed by single/individual multi-arm star amphiphilic block copolymer poly(amidoamine)-polyvalerolactone-poly(ethylene glycol) (PAMAM-PVL-PEG). While the hydrophobic PAMAM-PVL core can encapsulate hydrophobic drugs, the hydrophilic PEG shell provides excellent water dispersity. We conjugated unimNPs with the cholera toxin B domain (CTB) for RGC-targeting and with Cy5.5 for unimNP-tracing. To exploit RGC-protective sigma-1 receptor (S1R), we loaded unimNPs with an endogenous S1R agonist dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) as an FDA-approved model drug. These unimNPs produced a steady DHEA release in vitro for over two months at pH7.4. We then co-injected (mice, intraocular) unimNPs with the glutamate analog N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), which is excito-toxic and induces RGC death. The CTB-conjugated unimNPs (i.e., targeted NPs) accumulated at the RGC layer and effectively preserved RGCs at least for 14days, whereas the unimNPs without CTB (i.e., non-targeted NPs) showed neither accumulation at nor protection of NMDA-treated RGCs. Consistent with S1R functions, targeted NPs relative to non-targeted NPs showed markedly better inhibitory effects on apoptosis and oxidative/inflammatory stresses in the RGC layer. Hence, the DHEA-loaded, CTB-conjugated unimNPs represent an RGC/S1R dual-targeted nanoplatform that generates an efficacious template for further development of a sustainable intraocular drug delivery system to protect RGCs, which may be applicable to treatments directed at glaucomatous pathology.
Zhang, X-J; Liu, L-L; Jiang, S-X; Zhong, Y-M; Yang, X-L
The sigma receptor 1 (σR1) has been shown to modulate the activity of several voltage- and ligand-gated channels. Using patch-clamp techniques in rat retinal slice preparations, we demonstrated that activation of σR1 by SKF10047 (SKF) or PRE-084 suppressed N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated current responses from both ON and OFF type ganglion cells (GCs), dose-dependently, and the effect could be blocked by the σR1 antagonist BD1047 or the σR antagonist haloperidol. The suppression by SKF of NMDA currents was abolished with pre-incubation of the G protein inhibitor GDP-β-S or the Gi/o activator mastoparan. We further explored the intracellular signaling pathway responsible for the SKF-induced suppression of NMDA responses. Application of either cAMP/the PKA inhibitor Rp-cAMP or cGMP/the PKG inhibitor KT5823 did not change the SKF-induced effect, suggesting the involvement of neither cAMP/PKA nor cGMP/PKG pathway. In contrast, suppression of NMDA responses by SKF was abolished by internal infusion of the phosphatidylinostiol-specific phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122, but not by the phosphatidylcholine-PLC inhibitor D609. SKF-induced suppression of NMDA responses was dependent on intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), as evidenced by the fact that the effect was abolished when [Ca2+]i was buffered with 10 mM BAPTA. The SKF effect was blocked by xestospongin-C/heparin, IP3 receptor antagonists, but unchanged by ryanodine/caffeine, ryanodine receptor modulators. Furthermore, application of protein kinase C inhibitors Bis IV and Gö6976 eliminated the SKF effect. These results suggest that the suppression of NMDA responses of rat retinal GCs caused by the activation of σR1 may be mediated by a distinct [Ca2+]i-dependent PLC-PKC pathway. This effect of SKF could help ameliorate malfunction of GCs caused by excessive stimulation of NMDA receptors under pathological conditions.
Background The aim of this study was to investigate the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), the ganglion cell layer (GCL), and choroid thickness (CT) in patients who have migraines, with and without aura, using spectral optical coherence tomography (OCT). Methods Forty-five patients who had migraines without aura (Group 1), 45 patients who had migraines with aura (Group 2), and 30 healthy participants (control group) were included in the study. Spectral OCT was used to measure the RNFL, GCL and CT values for all patients. Results The mean age of Group 1, Group 2, and the control group was 34.6 ± 4.3, 32.8 ± 4.9, and 31.8 ± 4.6 years, respectively. The mean attack frequency was 3.6/month in Group 1 and 3.7/month in Group 2. The mean age among the groups (p = 0.27) and number of attacks in migraine patients (p = 0.73) were not significantly different. There was significant thinning in the RNFL and GCL in Group 2 (p < 0.05, p < 0.001 respectively), while there were no significant differences in RNFL and GCL measurements between Group 1 and the control group (p > 0.05). All groups were significantly different from one another with respect to CT, with the most thinning observed in Group 2 (p < 0.001). When all migraine patients (without grouping) were compared with the control group, there were significant differences on all parameters: RNFL thickness, GCC thickness and CT (p < 0.05). Conclusions RNFL and GCL were significantly thinner in the migraine patients with aura as compared with both the migraine patients without aura and the control subjects. In migraine, both with aura and without aura, patients’ choroid thinning should be considered when evaluating ophthalmological findings. PMID:24885597
Schwartz, M; Eshhar, N
Monoclonal antibodies directed primarily against antigenic determinants associated with the goldfish optic nerve were prepared and characterized. One selected clone 23-4-C(IgG2a), detected antigenic determinants of glycoprotein nature with an apparent mol. wt. of 140 000. Following injury the level of these molecules increased with a peak at 5-7 days after the lesion (2- to 3-fold higher than the basal level). The results strongly suggest that the increase derives, at least partially, from a real increment in the level of these molecules in the retinal ganglion cells rather than from changes in accessibility. Immunofluorescence studies indicate that the retinal ganglion cells carry the antigenicity. Intraocular injection of the monoclonal antibodies, concomitantly with crush injury, resulted in an earlier and higher regenerative response, reflected by sprouting capacity, protein synthesis and accumulation of radiolabeled material in the tectum contralateral to the side of injury. This may indicate that the antibodies directly activate retinal cells via interaction with surface molecules. Alternatively, the antibodies may be directed against surface molecules which are associated with axonal growth inhibitors, and may therefore mask these surface antigens from further interaction with their native substrate. Images Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 7. PMID:6204857
Sheng, Wen-Long; Chen, Wei-Yi; Yang, Xiong-Li; Zhong, Yong-Mei; Weng, Shi-Jun
Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are involved in circadian and other non-image forming visual responses. An open question is whether the activity of these neurons may also be under the regulation mediated by the neurohormone melatonin. In the present work, by double-staining immunohistochemical technique, we studied the expression of MT1 and MT2, two known subtypes of mammalian melatonin receptors, in rat ipRGCs. A single subset of retinal ganglion cells labeled by the specific antibody against melanopsin exhibited the morphology typical of M1-type ipRGCs. Immunoreactivity for both MT1 and MT2 receptors was clearly seen in the cytoplasm of all labeled ipRGCs, indicating that these two receptors were co-expressed in each of these neurons. Furthermore, labeling for both the receptors were found in neonatal M1 cells as early as the day of birth. It is therefore highly plausible that retinal melatonin may directly modulate the activity of ipRGCs, thus regulating non-image forming visual functions. PMID:25714375
Katz, Matthew L.; Viney, Tim J.; Nikolic, Konstantin
Sensory stimuli are encoded by diverse kinds of neurons but the identities of the recorded neurons that are studied are often unknown. We explored in detail the firing patterns of eight previously defined genetically-identified retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types from a single transgenic mouse line. We first introduce a new technique of deriving receptive field vectors (RFVs) which utilises a modified form of mutual information (“Quadratic Mutual Information”). We analysed the firing patterns of RGCs during presentation of short duration (~10 second) complex visual scenes (natural movies). We probed the high dimensional space formed by the visual input for a much smaller dimensional subspace of RFVs that give the most information about the response of each cell. The new technique is very efficient and fast and the derivation of novel types of RFVs formed by the natural scene visual input was possible even with limited numbers of spikes per cell. This approach enabled us to estimate the 'visual memory' of each cell type and the corresponding receptive field area by calculating Mutual Information as a function of the number of frames and radius. Finally, we made predictions of biologically relevant functions based on the RFVs of each cell type. RGC class analysis was complemented with results for the cells’ response to simple visual input in the form of black and white spot stimulation, and their classification on several key physiological metrics. Thus RFVs lead to predictions of biological roles based on limited data and facilitate analysis of sensory-evoked spiking data from defined cell types. PMID:26845435
Murphy, Gabe J; Rieke, Fred
Parallel circuits throughout the CNS exhibit distinct sensitivities and responses to sensory stimuli. Ambiguities in the source and properties of signals elicited by physiological stimuli, however, frequently obscure the mechanisms underlying these distinctions. We found that differences in the degree to which activity in two classes of Off retinal ganglion cell (RGC) encode information about light stimuli near detection threshold were not due to obvious differences in the cells' intrinsic properties or the chemical synaptic input the cells received; indeed, differences in the cells' light responses were largely insensitive to block of fast ionotropic glutamate receptors. Instead, the distinct responses of the two types of RGCs likely reflect differences in light-evoked electrical synaptic input. These results highlight a surprising strategy by which the retina differentially processes and routes visual information and provide new insight into the circuits that underlie responses to stimuli near detection threshold.
Dong, Ling-Yan; Jin, Jie; Lu, Gao; Kang, Xiao-Li
Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic eye disease caused by changes in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). It is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease, which affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The genetically diabetic db/db mouse, as a model of type-2 diabetes, shows diabetic retinopathy induced by apoptosis of RGCs. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties that exists naturally in various plants, algae and seafood. Here, astaxanthin was shown to reduce the apoptosis of RGCs and improve the levels of oxidative stress markers, including superoxide anion, malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of lipid peroxidation), 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, indicator of oxidative DNA damage) and MnSOD (manganese superoxide dismutase) activity in the retinal tissue of db/db mouse. In addition, astaxanthin attenuated hydrogen peroxide(H2O2)-induced apoptosis in the transformed rat retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5. Therefore, astaxanthin may be developed as an antioxidant drug to treat diabetic retinopathy. PMID:23519150
Dong, Ling-Yan; Jin, Jie; Lu, Gao; Kang, Xiao-Li
Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic eye disease caused by changes in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). It is an ocular manifestation of systemic disease, which affects up to 80% of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The genetically diabetic db/db mouse, as a model of type-2 diabetes, shows diabetic retinopathy induced by apoptosis of RGCs. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid with powerful antioxidant properties that exists naturally in various plants, algae and seafood. Here, astaxanthin was shown to reduce the apoptosis of RGCs and improve the levels of oxidative stress markers, including superoxide anion, malondialdehyde (MDA, a marker of lipid peroxidation), 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG, indicator of oxidative DNA damage) and MnSOD (manganese superoxide dismutase) activity in the retinal tissue of db/db mouse. In addition, astaxanthin attenuated hydrogen peroxide(H2O2)-induced apoptosis in the transformed rat retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5. Therefore, astaxanthin may be developed as an antioxidant drug to treat diabetic retinopathy.
Jeong, Jae Hoon; Choi, Yun Jeong; Park, Ki Ho; Kim, Dong Myung
Purpose To evaluate the effect of multiple covariates on the diagnostic performance of the Cirrus high-definition optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT) for glaucoma detection. Methods A prospective case-control study was performed and included 173 recently diagnosed glaucoma patients and 63 unaffected individuals from the Macular Ganglion Cell Imaging Study. Regression analysis of receiver operating characteristic were conducted to evaluate the influence of age, spherical equivalent, axial length, optic disc size, and visual field index on the macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) measurements. Results Disease severity, as measured by visual field index, had a significant effect on the diagnostic performance of all Cirrus HD-OCT parameters. Age, axial length and optic disc size were significantly associated with diagnostic accuracy of average peripapillary RNFL thickness, whereas axial length had a significant effect on the diagnostic accuracy of average GCIPL thickness. Conclusions Diagnostic performance of the Cirrus HD-OCT may be more accurate in the advanced stages of glaucoma than at earlier stages. A smaller optic disc size was significantly associated with improved the diagnostic ability of average RNFL thickness measurements; however, GCIPL thickness may be less affected by age and optic disc size. PMID:27490718
Schori, Hadas; Kipnis, Jonathan; Yoles, Eti; Woldemussie, Elizabeth; Ruiz, Guadalupe; Wheeler, Larry A.; Schwartz, Michal
Our group recently demonstrated that autoimmune T cells directed against central nervous system-associated myelin antigens protect neurons from secondary degeneration. We further showed that the synthetic peptide copolymer 1 (Cop-1), known to suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, can be safely substituted for the natural myelin antigen in both passive and active immunization for neuroprotection of the injured optic nerve. Here we attempted to determine whether similar immunizations are protective from retinal ganglion cell loss resulting from a direct biochemical insult caused, for example, by glutamate (a major mediator of degeneration in acute and chronic optic nerve insults) and in a rat model of ocular hypertension. Passive immunization with T cells reactive to myelin basic protein or active immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-derived peptide, although neuroprotective after optic nerve injury, was ineffective against glutamate toxicity in mice and rats. In contrast, the number of surviving retinal ganglion cells per square millimeter in glutamate-injected retinas was significantly larger in mice immunized 10 days previously with Cop-1 emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant than in mice injected with PBS in the same adjuvant (2,133 ± 270 and 1,329 ± 121, respectively, mean ± SEM; P < 0.02). A similar pattern was observed when mice were immunized on the day of glutamate injection (1,777 ± 101 compared with 1,414 ± 36; P <0.05), but not when they were immunized 48h later. These findings suggest that protection from glutamate toxicity requires reinforcement of the immune system by antigens that are different from those associated with myelin. The use of Cop-1 apparently circumvents this antigen specificity barrier. In the rat ocular hypertension model, which simulates glaucoma, immunization with Cop-1 significantly reduced the retinal ganglion cell loss from 27.8%±6.8% to 4.3%±1.6%, without affecting the intraocular pressure
Foxton, R; Osborne, A; Martin, K R; Ng, Y-S; Shima, D T
There is increasing evidence that VEGF-A antagonists may be detrimental to neuronal health following ocular administration. Here we investigated firstly the effects of VEGF-A neutralization on retinal neuronal survival in the Ins2Akita diabetic and JR5558 spontaneous choroidal neovascularization (CNV) mice, and then looked at potential mechanisms contributing to cell death. We detected elevated apoptosis in the ganglion cell layer in both these models following VEGF-A antagonism, indicating that even when vascular pathologies respond to treatment, neurons are still vulnerable to reduced VEGF-A levels. We observed that retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) seemed to be the cells most susceptible to VEGF-A antagonism, so we looked at anterograde transport in these cells, due to their long axons requiring optimal protein and organelle trafficking. Using cholera toxin B-subunit tracer studies, we found a distal reduction in transport in the superior colliculus following VEGF-A neutralization, which occurred prior to net RGC loss. This phenomenon of distal transport loss has been described as a feature of early pathological changes in glaucoma, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease models. Furthermore, we observed increased phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and downstream Hsp27 stress pathway signaling in the retinas from these experiments, potentially providing a mechanistic explanation for our findings. These experiments further highlight the possible risks of using VEGF-A antagonists to treat ocular neovascular disease, and suggest that VEGF-A may contribute to the maintenance and function of axonal transport in neurons of the retina. PMID:27148685
Shinozaki, Koji; Miyagi, Toshihiko; Yoshida, Michio; Miyata, Takaki; Ogawa, Masaharu; Aizawa, Shinichi; Suda, Yoko
Emx1 and Emx2, mouse orthologs of the Drosophila head gap gene, ems, are expressed during corticogenesis. Emx2 null mutants exhibit mild defects in cortical lamination. Segregation of differentiating neurons from proliferative cells is normal for the most part, however, reelin-positive Cajal-Retzius cells are lost by the late embryonic period. Additionally, late-born cortical plate neurons display abnormal position. These types of lamination defects are subtle in the Emx1 mutant cortex. In the present study we show that Emx1 and Emx2 double mutant neocortex is much more severely affected. Thickness of the cerebral wall was diminished with the decrease in cell number. Bromodeoxyuridine uptake in the germinal zone was nearly normal; moreover, no apparent increase in cell death or tetraploid cell number was observed. However, tangential migration of cells from the ganglionic eminence into the neocortex was greatly inhibited. The wild-type ganglionic eminence cells transplanted into Emx1/2-double mutant telencephalon did not move to the cortex. MAP2-positive neuronal bodies and RC2-positive radial glial cells emerged normally, but the laminar structure subsequently formed was completely abnormal. Furthermore, both corticofugal and corticopetal fibers were predominantly absent in the cortex. Most importantly, neither Cajal-Retzius cells nor subplate neurons were found throughout E11.5-E18.5. Thus, this investigation suggests that laminar organization in the cortex or the production of Cajal-Retzius cells and subplate neurons is interrelated to the tangential movement of cells from the ganglionic eminence under the control of Emx1 and Emx2.
Wang, Yanling; Wang, Wenyao; Liu, Jessica; Huang, Xin; Liu, Ruixing; Xia, Huika; Brecha, Nicholas C.; Pu, Mingliang; Gao, Jie
In this study we first sought to determine whether RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS) can serve as a specific marker for cat retina ganglion cells (RGCs) using retrograde labeling and immunohistochemistry staining. RBPM was then used as an RGC marker to study RGC survival after optic nerve crush (ONC) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) treatment in cats. ALA treatment yielded a peak density of RBPMS-alpha cells within the peak isodensity zone (>60/mm2) which did not differ from ONC retinas. The area within the zone was significantly enlarged (control: 2.3%, ONC: 0.06%, ONC+ALA: 0.1%). As for the 10-21/mm2 zone, ALA treatment resulted in a significant increase in area (control: 34.5%, ONC: 12.1%, ONC+ALA: 35.9%). ALA can alleviate crush-induced RGC injury. PMID:27504635
Qu, Chunsheng; Bian, Dandan; Li, Xue; Xiao, Jian; Wu, Chunping; Li, Yue; Jiang, Tian; Zhou, Xiangtian; Qu, Jia; Chen, Jie-Guang
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are projection neurons in the neural retina that relay visual information from the environment to the central nervous system. The early expression of MATH5 endows the post-mitotic precursors with RGC competence and leads to the activation ofBrn3bthat marks committed RGCs. Nevertheless, this fate commitment process and, specifically, regulation ofBrn3bremain elusive. To explore the molecular mechanisms underlying RGC generation in the mouse retina, we analyzed the expression and function of Fez family zinc finger 2 (FEZF2), a transcription factor critical for the development of projection neurons in the cerebral cortex.Fezf2mRNA and protein were transiently expressed at embryonic day 16.5 in the inner neuroblast layer and the prospective ganglion cell layer of the retina, respectively. Knockout ofFezf2in the developing retina reduced BRN3B+ cells and increased apoptotic cell markers.Fezf2knockdown by retinalin uteroelectroporation diminished BRN3B but not the coexpressed ISLET1 and BRN3A, indicating that the BRN3B decrease was the cause, not the result, of the overall reduction of BRN3B+ RGCs in theFezf2knockout retina. Moreover, the mRNA and promoter activity ofBrn3bwere increasedin vitroby FEZF2, which bound to a 5' regulatory fragment in theBrn3bgenomic locus. These results indicate that transient expression ofFezf2in the retina modulates the transcription ofBrn3band the survival of RGCs. This study improves our understanding of the transcriptional cascade required for the specification of RGCs and provides novel insights into the molecular basis of retinal development.
Markand, Shanu; Saul, Alan; Roon, Penny; Prasad, Puttur; Martin, Pamela; Rozen, Rima; Ganapathy, Vadivel; Smith, Sylvia B.
Purpose. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (Mthfr) is a key enzyme in homocysteine-methionine metabolism. We investigated Mthfr expression in retina and asked whether mild hyperhomocysteinemia, due to Mthfr deficiency, alters retinal neurovascular structure and function. Methods. Expression of Mthfr was investigated at the gene and protein level using quantitative (q) RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The Mthfr+/+ and Mthfr+/− mice were subjected to comprehensive evaluation using ERG, funduscopy, fluorescein angiography (FA), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), HPLC, and morphometric and IHC analysis of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) at 8 to 24 weeks. Results. Gene and protein analyses disclosed widespread retinal expression of Mthfr. Electroretinography (ERG) revealed a significant decrease in positive scotopic threshold response in retinas of Mthfr+/− mice at 24 weeks. Fundus examination in mice from both groups was normal; FA revealed areas of focal vascular leakage in 20% of Mthfr+/− mice at 12 to 16 weeks and 60% by 24 weeks. The SD-OCT revealed a significant decrease in nerve fiber layer (NFL) thickness at 24 weeks in Mthfr+/− compared to Mthfr+/+ mice. There was a 2-fold elevation in retinal hcy at 24 weeks in Mthfr+/− mice by HPLC and IHC. Morphometric analysis revealed an approximately 20% reduction in cells in the ganglion cell layer of Mthfr+/− mice at 24 weeks. The IHC indicated significantly increased GFAP labeling suggestive of Müller cell activation. Conclusions. Mildly hyperhomocysteinemic Mthfr+/− mice demonstrate reduced ganglion cell function, thinner NFL, and mild vasculopathy by 24 weeks. The retinal phenotype is similar to that of hyperhomocysteinemic mice with deficiency of cystathionine-β-synthase (Cbs) reported earlier. The data support the hypothesis that hyperhomocysteinemia may be causative in certain retinal neurovasculopathies. PMID:25766590
Li, Sixing; Ding, Xiaoyun; Mao, Zhangming; Chen, Yuchao; Nama, Nitesh; Guo, Feng; Li, Peng; Wang, Lin; Cameron, Craig E.; Huang, Tony Jun
Cell/bead washing is an indispensable sample preparation procedure used in various cell studies and analytical processes. In this article, we report a standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW)-based microfluidic device for cell and bead washing in a continuous flow. In our approach, the acoustic radiation force generated in a SSAW field is utilized to actively extract cells or beads from their original medium. A unique configuration of tilted-angle standing surface acoustic wave (taSSAW) is employed in our device, enabling us to wash beads with >98% recovery rate and >97% washing efficiency. We also demonstrate the functionality of our device by preparing high-purity (>97%) white blood cells from lysed blood samples through cell washing. Our SSAW-based cell/bead washing device has the advantages of label-free manipulation, simplicity, high biocompatibility, high recovery rate, and high washing efficiency. It can be useful for many lab-on-a-chip applications. PMID:25372273
Matsuoka, Akihiro J; Morrissey, Zachery D; Zhang, Chaoying; Homma, Kazuaki; Belmadani, Abdelhak; Miller, Charles A; Chadly, Duncan M; Kobayashi, Shun; Edelbrock, Alexandra N; Tanaka-Matakatsu, Miho; Whitlon, Donna S; Lyass, Ljuba; McGuire, Tammy L; Stupp, Samuel I; Kessler, John A
The ability to generate spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) from stem cells is a necessary prerequisite for development of cell-replacement therapies for sensorineural hearing loss. We present a protocol that directs human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) toward a purified population of otic neuronal progenitors (ONPs) and SGN-like cells. Between 82% and 95% of these cells express SGN molecular markers, they preferentially extend neurites to the cochlear nucleus rather than nonauditory nuclei, and they generate action potentials. The protocol follows an in vitro stepwise recapitulation of developmental events inherent to normal differentiation of hESCs into SGNs, resulting in efficient sequential generation of nonneuronal ectoderm, preplacodal ectoderm, early prosensory ONPs, late ONPs, and cells with cellular and molecular characteristics of human SGNs. We thus describe the sequential signaling pathways that generate the early and later lineage species in the human SGN lineage, thereby better describing key developmental processes. The results indicate that our protocol generates cells that closely replicate the phenotypic characteristics of human SGNs, advancing the process of guiding hESCs to states serving inner-ear cell-replacement therapies and possible next-generation hybrid auditory prostheses. © Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:923-936.
del Olmo-Aguado, Susana; Núñez-Álvarez, Claudia; Ji, Dan; Manso, Alberto García; Osborne, Neville N
RTP801, a stress-related protein, is activated by adverse environmental conditions and inhibits the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in promoting oxidative stress-dependent cell death. RTP801 exists both in the mammalian retina and the lens of the eye. Here, we observed RTP801 immunoreactivity in some retinal ganglion cells. Intravitreal injection of cobalt chloride (CoCl2) to mimick hypoxia influenced retinal GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels, but did not affect RTP801 immunoreactivity or mRNA content relative to GAPDH. However, RTP801 mRNA was elevated when compared with Brn3a mRNA, suggesting that RTP801 is activated in stressed Brn3a retinal ganglion cells. In cultures of RGC-5 cells, RTP801 immunoreactivity was located in the cytoplasm and partly present in the mitochondria. An insult of blue light or CoCl2 increased RTP801 expression, which was accompanied by cell death. However, in cultures where RTP801 mRNA was down-regulated, the negative influence of blue light and CoCl2 was blunted. Rapamycin nullified the CoCl2-induced up-regulation of RTP801 and attenuated cell death. Moreover, rapamycin was non-toxic to RGC-5 cells, even at a high concentration (10μM). The protective effect of rapamycin on RGC-5 cells caused by the inhibition of RTP801 suggests that rapamycin might attenuate retinal ganglion cell death in situ, as in glaucoma.
Augustsson, Per; Karlsen, Jonas T.; Su, Hao-Wei; Bruus, Henrik; Voldman, Joel
Mechanical phenotyping of single cells is an emerging tool for cell classification, enabling assessment of effective parameters relating to cells' interior molecular content and structure. Here, we present iso-acoustic focusing, an equilibrium method to analyze the effective acoustic impedance of single cells in continuous flow. While flowing through a microchannel, cells migrate sideways, influenced by an acoustic field, into streams of increasing acoustic impedance, until reaching their cell-type specific point of zero acoustic contrast. We establish an experimental procedure and provide theoretical justifications and models for iso-acoustic focusing. We describe a method for providing a suitable acoustic contrast gradient in a cell-friendly medium, and use acoustic forces to maintain that gradient in the presence of destabilizing forces. Applying this method we demonstrate iso-acoustic focusing of cell lines and leukocytes, showing that acoustic properties provide phenotypic information independent of size. PMID:27180912
Pushchin, Igor I; Zyumchenko, Nataliya E
The vertebrate visual system is determined by two main factors, a species' lifestyle and phylogenetic legacy. Studying the visual system in outgroup lineages may shed some light on the balance of these factors within a certain radiation. We studied the topography of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the retina of the oriental fire-bellied toad Bombina orientalis. These toads belong to the ancient superfamily Discoglossoidea, a sister group to all extant Anura except for two small families. RGCs were retrogradely labeled with tetramethylrhodamine- dextran amine (TMR-DA) and examined in retinal wholemounts. RGCs occurred all over the retina except for the far periphery. Their total number was [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]). They comprised 73-77% of all cells in the ganglion cell layer. The spatial density of GCs increased gradually from the dorsal and ventral retinal periphery toward the equator to form a weak visual streak and a moderately pronounced area centralis. The minimum density was [Formula: see text], and the maximum, [Formula: see text]. The maximum density gradient was [Formula: see text]. The spatial resolution was minimum in the dorsal and ventral periphery ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] cycles per degree in water and air, respectively). Intermediate values of spatial resolving power were found within the visual streak ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] cycles per degree) and reached a peak in area centralis ([Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] cycles per degree). This is sufficient for efficient prey location and capture. The relatively high RGC density and the presence of specialized retinal regions in oriental fire-bellied toads are consistent with their highly visual behavior. A brief review comparing the phylogeny and ecology of this with other anuran species suggests that the main factor shaping the RGC distribution in Anura is phylogenetic legacy; the environmental pressure results
Jalligampala, Archana; Sekhar, Sudarshan; Zrenner, Eberhart; Rathbun, Daniel L
To further improve the quality of visual percepts elicited by microelectronic retinal prosthetics, substantial efforts have been made to understand how retinal neurons respond to electrical stimulation. It is generally assumed that a sufficiently strong stimulus will recruit most retinal neurons. However, recent evidence has shown that the responses of some retinal neurons decrease with excessively strong stimuli (a non-monotonic response function). Therefore, it is necessary to identify stimuli that can be used to activate the majority of retinal neurons even when such non-monotonic cells are part of the neuronal population. Taking these non-monotonic responses into consideration, we establish the optimal voltage stimulation parameters (amplitude, duration, and polarity) for epiretinal stimulation of network-mediated (indirect) ganglion cell responses. We recorded responses from 3958 mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in both healthy (wild type, WT) and a degenerating (rd10) mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa-using flat-mounted retina on a microelectrode array. Rectangular monophasic voltage-controlled pulses were presented with varying voltage, duration, and polarity. We found that in 4-5 weeks old rd10 mice the RGC thresholds were comparable to those of WT. There was a marked response variability among mouse RGCs. To account for this variability, we interpolated the percentage of RGCs activated at each point in the voltage-polarity-duration stimulus space, thus identifying the optimal voltage-controlled pulse (-2.4 V, 0.88 ms). The identified optimal voltage pulse can activate at least 65% of potentially responsive RGCs in both mouse strains. Furthermore, this pulse is well within the range of stimuli demonstrated to be safe and effective for retinal implant patients. Such optimized stimuli and the underlying method used to identify them support a high yield of responsive RGCs and will serve as an effective guideline for future in vitro investigations of
Wang, Ruobing; Wu, Jiangchun; Chen, Zeli; Xia, Fangzhou; Sun, Qinglei; Liu, Lin
Retinal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of various ocular diseases. Intraperitoneal injection or ocular instillation with hydrogen (H2)-rich saline was recently shown to be neuroprotective in the retina due to its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. Our study aims to explore whether postconditioning with inhaled H2 can protect retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in a rat model of retinal I/R injury. Retinal I/R injury was performed on the right eyes of rats and was followed by inhalation of 67% H2 mixed with 33% oxygen immediately after ischemia for 1h daily for one week. RGC density was counted using haematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and retrograde labeling with cholera toxin beta (CTB). Visual function was assessed using flash visual evoked potentials (FVEP) and pupillary light reflex (PLR). Potential biomarkers of retinal oxidative stress and inflammatory responses were measured, including the expression of 4-Hydroxynonenalv (4-HNE), interleukin-1 beta (IL1-β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). HE and CTB tracing showed that the survival rate of RGCs in the H2-treated group was significantly higher than the rate in the I/R group. Rats with H2 inhalation showed better visual function in assessments of FVEP and PLR. Moreover, H2 treatment significantly decreased the number of 4-HNE-stained cells in the ganglion cell layer and inhibited the retinal overexpression of IL1-β and TNF-α that was induced by retinal I/R injury. Our results demonstrate that postconditioning with inhaled high-dose H2 appears to confer neuroprotection against retinal I/R injury via anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptosis pathways.
Jalligampala, Archana; Sekhar, Sudarshan; Zrenner, Eberhart; Rathbun, Daniel L.
To further improve the quality of visual percepts elicited by microelectronic retinal prosthetics, substantial efforts have been made to understand how retinal neurons respond to electrical stimulation. It is generally assumed that a sufficiently strong stimulus will recruit most retinal neurons. However, recent evidence has shown that the responses of some retinal neurons decrease with excessively strong stimuli (a non-monotonic response function). Therefore, it is necessary to identify stimuli that can be used to activate the majority of retinal neurons even when such non-monotonic cells are part of the neuronal population. Taking these non-monotonic responses into consideration, we establish the optimal voltage stimulation parameters (amplitude, duration, and polarity) for epiretinal stimulation of network-mediated (indirect) ganglion cell responses. We recorded responses from 3958 mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in both healthy (wild type, WT) and a degenerating (rd10) mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa—using flat-mounted retina on a microelectrode array. Rectangular monophasic voltage-controlled pulses were presented with varying voltage, duration, and polarity. We found that in 4–5 weeks old rd10 mice the RGC thresholds were comparable to those of WT. There was a marked response variability among mouse RGCs. To account for this variability, we interpolated the percentage of RGCs activated at each point in the voltage-polarity-duration stimulus space, thus identifying the optimal voltage-controlled pulse (‑2.4 V, 0.88 ms). The identified optimal voltage pulse can activate at least 65% of potentially responsive RGCs in both mouse strains. Furthermore, this pulse is well within the range of stimuli demonstrated to be safe and effective for retinal implant patients. Such optimized stimuli and the underlying method used to identify them support a high yield of responsive RGCs and will serve as an effective guideline for future in vitro investigations
Davenport, Christopher M.; Detwiler, Peter B.; Dacey, Dennis M.
Negative feedback from horizontal cells to cone photoreceptors is regarded as the critical pathway for the formation of the antagonistic surround of retinal neurons, yet the mechanism by which horizontal cells accomplish negative feedback has been difficult to determine. Recent evidence suggests that feedback uses a novel, non-GABAergic pathway that directly modulates the calcium current in cones. In non-mammalian vertebrates, enrichment of retinal pH buffering capacity attenuates horizontal cell feedback, supporting one model in which feedback occurs by horizontal cell modulation of the extracellular pH in the cone synaptic cleft. Here we test the effect of exogenous pH buffering on the response dynamics of H1 horizontal cells and the center-surround receptive field structure of parasol ganglion cells in the macaque monkey retina. Enrichment of the extracellular buffering capacity with HEPES selectively attenuates surround antagonism in parasol ganglion cells. The H1 horizontal cell light response includes a slow, depolarizing component that is attributed to negative feedback to cones. This part of the response is attenuated by HEPES and other pH buffers in a dose-dependent manner that is correlated with predicted buffering capacity. The selective effects of pH buffering on the parasol cell surround and H1 cell light response suggests that, in primate retina, horizontal cell feedback to cones is mediated via a pH-dependent mechanism and is a major determinant of the ganglion cell receptive field surround. PMID:18184788
Tong, Ling; Strong, Melissa K.; Kaur, Tejbeer; Juiz, Jose M.; Oesterle, Elizabeth C.; Hume, Clifford; Warchol, Mark E.; Palmiter, Richard D.
During nervous system development, critical periods are usually defined as early periods during which manipulations dramatically change neuronal structure or function, whereas the same manipulations in mature animals have little or no effect on the same property. Neurons in the ventral cochlear nucleus (CN) are dependent on excitatory afferent input for survival during a critical period of development. Cochlear removal in young mammals and birds results in rapid death of target neurons in the CN. Cochlear removal in older animals results in little or no neuron death. However, the extent to which hair-cell-specific afferent activity prevents neuronal death in the neonatal brain is unknown. We further explore this phenomenon using a new mouse model that allows temporal control of cochlear hair cell deletion. Hair cells express the human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor behind the Pou4f3 promoter. Injections of DT resulted in nearly complete loss of organ of Corti hair cells within 1 week of injection regardless of the age of injection. Injection of DT did not influence surrounding supporting cells directly in the sensory epithelium or spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). Loss of hair cells in neonates resulted in rapid and profound neuronal loss in the ventral CN, but not when hair cells were eliminated at a more mature age. In addition, normal survival of SGNs was dependent on hair cell integrity early in development and less so in mature animals. This defines a previously undocumented critical period for SGN survival. PMID:25995473
Wong, Raymond C S; Garrett, David J; Grayden, David B; Ibbotson, Michael R; Cloherty, Shaun L
People with degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa lose most of their photoreceptors but retain a significant proportion (~30%) of their retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Microelectronic retinal prostheses aim to bypass the lost photoreceptors and restore vision by directly stimulating the surviving RGCs. Here we investigate the extent to which electrical stimulation of RGCs can evoke neural spike trains with statistics resembling those of normal visually-evoked responses. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from individual cat RGCs in vitro. We first recorded the responses of each cell to short sequences of visual stimulation. These responses were converted to trains of electrical stimulation that we then presented to the same cell via an epiretinal stimulating electrode. We then quantified the efficacy of the electrical stimuli and the latency of the evoked spikes. In all cases, spikes were evoked with sub-millisecond latency (0.55 ms, median, ON cells, n = 8; 0.75 ms, median, OFF cells, n = 6) and efficacy ranged from 0.4-1.0 (0.79, median, ON cells; 0.97, median, OFF cells). These data demonstrate that meaningful spike trains, resembling normal responses of RGCs to visual stimulation, can be reliably evoked by epiretinal prostheses.
Barani, Alireza; Paktinat, Hossein; Janmaleki, Mohsen; Mohammadi, Aminollah; Mosaddegh, Peiman; Fadaei-Tehrani, Alireza; Sanati-Nezhad, Amir
Acoustophoresis with its simple and low-cost fabrication, rapid and localized fluid actuation, compatibility with microfluidic components, and biocompatibility for cellular studies, has been extensively integrated into microfluidics to provide on-chip microdevices for a variety of applications in biology, bioengineering and chemistry. Among different applications, noninvasive manipulation of cells and biomolecules are significantly important, which are addressed by acoustic-based microfluidics. Here in this paper, we briefly explain the principles and different configurations of acoustic wave and acoustic streaming for the manipulation of cells and molecules and overview its applications for single cell isolation, cell focusing and sorting, cell washing and patterning, cell-cell fusion and communication, and tissue engineering. We further discuss the application of acoustic-based microfluidic systems for the mixing and transport of liquids, manipulation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, followed by explanation on the present challenges of acoustic-based microfluidics for the handling of cells and molecules, and highlighting the future directions.
Echevarria, FD; Walker, CC; Abella, SK; Won, M; Sappington, RM
Objective: The interleukin-6 (IL-6) family of cytokines is associated with retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and glial reactivity in glaucoma. The purpose of this study was to evaluate glaucoma-related changes in glycoprotein-130 (gp130), the common signal transducer of the IL-6 family of cytokines, as they relate to RGC health, glial reactivity and expression of IL-6 cytokine family members. Methods: For all experiments, we examined healthy retina (young C57), aged retina (aged C57), retina predisposed to glaucoma (young DBA/2) and retina with IOP-induced glaucoma (aged DBA/2). We determined retinal gene expression of gp130 and IL-6 family members, using quantitative PCR, and protein expression of gp130, using multiplex ELISA. For protein localization and cell-specific expression, we performed co-immunolabeling for gp130 and cell type-specific markers. We used quantitative microscopy to measure layer-specific expression of gp130 and its relationships to astrocyte and Müller glia reactivity and RGC axonal transport, as determined by uptake and transport of cholera toxin β-subunit (CTB). Results: Gene expression of gp130 was elevated with all glaucoma-related stressors, but only normal aging increased protein levels. In healthy retina, gp130 localized primarily to the inner retina, where it was expressed by astrocytes, Müller cells and RGCs. Layer-specific analysis of gp130 expression revealed increased expression in aging retina and decreased expression in glaucomatous retina that was eccentricity-dependent. These glaucoma-related changes in gp130 expression correlated with the level of GFAP and glutamine synthetase expression, as well as axonal transport in RGCs. The relationships between gp130, glial reactivity and RGC health could impact signaling by many IL-6 family cytokines, which exhibited overall increased expression in a stressor-dependent manner. Conclusions: Glaucoma-related stressors, including normal aging, glaucoma predisposition and IOP
He, Quanhua; Wang, Ping; Tian, Ning
Recent studies have shown a continued maturation of visual responsiveness and synaptic activity of retina after eye opening, including the size of receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), light-evoked synaptic output of RGCs, bipolar cell spontaneous synaptic inputs to RGCs, and the synaptic connections between RGCs and ON and OFF bipolar cells. Light deprivation retarded some of these age-dependent changes. However, many other functional and morphological features of RGCs are not sensitive to visual experience. To determine whether light-evoked synaptic responses of RGCs undergo developmental change, we directly examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to RGCs in developing retinas and found that both light-evoked excitatory and inhibitory synaptic currents decreased, but not increased, with age. We also examined the light-evoked synaptic inputs from ON and OFF synaptic pathways to amacrine cells in developing retinas and found that the light-evoked synaptic input of amacrine cells is also down-regulated in developing mouse retina. Different from the developmental changes of RGC spontaneous synaptic activity, dark rearing has little effect on the developmental changes of light-evoked synaptic activity of both RGCs and amacrine cells. Therefore, we concluded that the synaptic mechanisms mediating spontaneous and light-evoked synaptic activity of RGCs and amacrine cells are likely to be different. PMID:21091802
Nemargut, Joseph P.; Zhu, Junling; Savoie, Brian T.; Wang, Guo-Yong
Patch-clamp recordings were made from retinal ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Under dark adaptation, blockage of BKCa channels increases the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) and light-evoked On-EPSCs, while it decreases the light-evoked Off inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). However, under light adaptation it decreases the light-evoked On-EPSCs, the spontaneous IPSCs and the light-evoked On- and Off-IPSCs. Blockage of BKCa channels significantly altered the outputs of RGCs by changing their light-evoked responses into a bursting pattern and increasing the light-evoked depolarization of the membrane potentials, while it did not significantly change the peak firing rates of light-evoked responses. PMID:19084033
Gu, Sherry; Glaug, Natalie; Cnaan, Avital; Packer, Roger J.; Avery, Robert A.
Purpose. To determine if measures of macular ganglion cell layer–inner plexiform layer (GCL-IPL) thickness can discriminate between children with and without vision loss (visual acuity or field) from their optic pathway glioma (OPG) using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Methods. Children with OPGs (sporadic or secondary to neurofibromatosis type 1) enrolled in a prospective study of SD-OCT were included if they were cooperative for vision testing and macular SD-OCT images were acquired. Manual segmentation of the macular GCL-IPL and macular retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) was performed using elliptical annuli with diameters of 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5 mm. Logistic regression assessed the ability of GCL-IPL and RNFL thickness measures (micrometers) to differentiate between the normal and abnormal vision groups. Results. Forty-seven study eyes (normal vision = 31, abnormal vision = 16) from 26 children with OPGs were included. Median age was 5.3 years (range, 2.5–12.8). Thickness of all GCL-IPL and RNFL quadrants differed between the normal and abnormal vision groups (P < 0.01). All GCL-IPL measures demonstrated excellent discrimination between groups (area under the curve [AUC] > 0.90 for all diameters). Using the lower fifth percentile threshold, the number of abnormal GCL-IPL inner macula (3.0 mm) quadrants achieved the highest AUC (0.989) and was greater than the macula RNFL AUCs (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Decreased GCL-IPL thickness (
Yi, Ji; Puyang, Zhen; Feng, Liang; Duan, Lian; Liang, Peiji; Backman, Vadim; Liu, Xiaorong; Zhang, Hao F.
Purpose Elastic light backscattering spectroscopy (ELBS) has exquisite sensitivity to the ultrastructural properties of tissue and thus has been applied to detect various diseases associated with ultrastructural alterations in their early stages. This study aims to test whether ELBS can detect early damage in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Methods We used a mouse model of partial optic nerve crush (pONC) to induce rapid RGC death. We confirmed RGC loss by axon counting and characterized the changes in retinal morphology by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and in retinal function by full-field electroretinogram (ERG), respectively. To quantify the ultrastructural properties, elastic backscattering spectroscopic analysis was implemented in the wavelength-dependent images recorded by reflectance confocal microscopy. Results At 3 days post-pONC injury, no significant change was found in the thickness of the RGC layer or in the mean amplitude of the oscillatory potentials measured by OCT and ERG, respectively; however, we did observe a significantly decreased number of axons compared with the controls. At 3 days post-pONC, we used ELBS to calculate the ultrastructural marker (D), the shape factor quantifying the shape of the local mass density correlation functions. It was significantly reduced in the crushed eyes compared with the controls, indicating the ultrastructural fragmentation in the crushed eyes. Conclusions Elastic light backscattering spectroscopy detected ultrastructural neuronal damage in RGCs following the pONC injury when OCT and ERG tests appeared normal. Our study suggests a potential clinical method for detecting early neuronal damage prior to anatomical alterations in the nerve fiber and ganglion cell layers. PMID:27784071
Shanks, James A.; Ito, Shinya; Schaevitz, Laura; Yamada, Jena; Chen, Bin; Litke, Alan
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) relay information about the outside world to multiple subcortical targets within the brain. This information is either used to dictate reflexive behaviors or relayed to the visual cortex for further processing. Many subcortical visual nuclei also receive descending inputs from projection neurons in the visual cortex. Most areas receive inputs from layer 5 cortical neurons in the visual cortex but one exception is the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN), which receives layer 6 inputs and is also the only RGC target that sends direct projections to the cortex. Here we ask how visual system development and function changes in mice that develop without a cortex. We find that the development of a cortex is essential for RGC axons to terminate in the dLGN, but is not required for targeting RGC axons to other subcortical nuclei. RGC axons also fail to target to the dLGN in mice that specifically lack cortical layer 6 projections to the dLGN. Finally, we show that when mice develop without a cortex they can still perform a number of vision-dependent tasks. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) is a sensory thalamic relay area that receives feedforward inputs from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the retina, and feed back inputs from layer 6 neurons in the visual cortex. In this study we examined genetically manipulated mice that develop without a cortex or without cortical layer 6 axonal projections, and find that RGC axons fail to project to the dLGN. Other RGC recipient areas, such as the superior colliculus and suprachiasmatic nucleus, are targeted normally. These results provide support for a new mechanism of target selection that may be specific to the thalamus, whereby descending cortical axons provide an activity that promotes feedforward targeting of RGC axons to the dLGN. PMID:27170123
Alshareef, Rayan A.; Dumpala, Sunila; Rapole, Shruthi; Januwada, Manideepak; Goud, Abhilash; Peguda, Hari Kumar; Chhablani, Jay
Purpose To determine the frequency of different types of spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) scan artifacts and errors in ganglion cell algorithm (GCA) in healthy eyes. Methods Infrared image, color-coded map and each of the 128 horizontal b-scans acquired in the macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer scans using the Cirrus HD-OCT (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Dublin, CA) macular cube 512 × 128 protocol in 30 healthy normal eyes were evaluated. The frequency and pattern of each artifact was determined. Deviation of the segmentation line was classified into mild (less than 10 microns), moderate (10–50 microns) and severe (more than 50 microns). Each deviation, if present, was noted as upward or downward deviation. Each artifact was further described as per location on the scan and zones in the total scan area. Results A total of 1029 (26.8%) out of total 3840 scans had scan errors. The most common scan error was segmentation error (100%), followed by degraded images (6.70%), blink artifacts (0.09%) and out of register artifacts (3.3%). Misidentification of the inner retinal layers was most frequent (62%). Upward Deviation of the segmentation line (47.91%) and severe deviation (40.3%) were more often noted. Artifacts were mostly located in the central scan area (16.8%). The average number of scans with artifacts per eye was 34.3% and was not related to signal strength on Spearman correlation (p = 0.36). Conclusions This study reveals that image artifacts and scan errors in SD-OCT GCA analysis are common and frequently involve segmentation errors. These errors may affect inner retinal thickness measurements in a clinically significant manner. Careful review of scans for artifacts is important when using this feature of SD-OCT device. PMID:27191396
Jakobsson, Ola; Antfolk, Maria; Laurell, Thomas
Flow cytometry is a frequently used method when it comes to cell sorting and analysis. Nonspherical cells, such as red blood cells or sperm cells, however, pose a challenge as they reduce the precision of light scatter measurements which interfere with the analysis of these and other cell populations in the same sample. Here, we present a microfluidic chip for acoustophoresis utilizing ultrasonic standing waves to focus and orient red blood cells in two dimensions in the channel center. The cells can be oriented to show either their flat or up-ended side toward the optical axis and the observer. In an acoustic standing wave field the cells will be rotated until the direction of the smallest dimension is parallel with the direction where the acoustic energy is strongest. While keeping the cells focused in the channel center utilizing acoustic resonances in two dimensions, the orientation can be controlled by increasing the acoustic energy in either the horizontal or vertical resonance mode. It was shown that 87.8 ± 3.8% of the red blood cells could be horizontally oriented while 98.7 ± 0.3% could be vertically oriented. The ability to control the orientation of nonspherical cells with high accuracy is a beneficial feature and potential contribution to the rapidly growing field of flow and image cytometry.
Zheng, Chao; Deng, Qin-Qin; Liu, Lei-Lei; Wang, Meng-Ya; Zhang, Gong; Sheng, Wen-Long; Weng, Shi-Jun; Yang, Xiong-Li; Zhong, Yong-Mei
By activating their receptors (OX1R and OX2R) orexin-A/B regulate wake/sleeping states, feeding behaviors, but the function of these peptides in the retina remains unknown. Using patch-clamp recordings and calcium imaging in rat isolated retinal cells, we demonstrated that orexin-A suppressed α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA)-preferring receptor-mediated currents (AMPA-preferring currents) in ganglion cells (GCs) through OX1R, but potentiated those in amacrine cells (ACs) through OX2R. Consistently, in rat retinal slices orexin-A suppressed light-evoked AMPA-preferring receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents in GCs, but potentiated those in ACs. Intracellular dialysis of GDP-β-S or preincubation with the Gi/o inhibitor pertussis toxin (PTX) abolished both the effects. Either cAMP/the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-cAMP or cGMP/the PKG blocker KT5823 failed to alter the orexin-A effects. Whilst both of them involved activation of protein kinase C (PKC), the effects on GCs and ACs were respectively eliminated by the phosphatidylinositol (PI)-phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor and phosphatidylcholine (PC)-PLC inhibitor. Moreover, in GCs orexin-A increased [Ca(2+)]i and the orexin-A effect was blocked by intracellular Ca(2+)-free solution and by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor antagonists. In contrast, orexin-A did not change [Ca(2+)]i in ACs and the orexin-A effect remained in intracellular or extracellular Ca(2+)-free solution. We conclude that a distinct Gi/o/PI-PLC/IP3/Ca(2+)-dependent PKC signaling pathway, following the activation of OX1R, is likely responsible for the orexin-A effect on GCs, whereas a Gi/o/PC-PLC/Ca(2+)-independent PKC signaling pathway, following the activation of OX2R, mediates the orexin-A effect on ACs. These two actions of orexin-A, while working in concert, provide a characteristic way for modulating information processing in the inner retina.
Akil, Omar; Sun, Ying; Vijayakumar, Sarath; Zhang, Wujuan; Ku, Tiffany; Lee, Chi-Kyou; Jones, Sherri; Grabowski, Gregory A; Lustig, Lawrence R
Saposin B (Sap B) is an essential activator protein for arylsulfatase A in the hydrolysis of sulfatide, a lipid component of myelin. To study Sap B's role in hearing and balance, a Sap B-deficient (B(-/-)) mouse was evaluated. At both light and electron microscopy (EM) levels, inclusion body accumulation was seen in satellite cells surrounding spiral ganglion (SG) neurons from postnatal month 1 onward, progressing into large vacuoles preceding satellite cell degeneration, and followed by SG degeneration. EM also revealed reduced or absent myelin sheaths in SG neurons from postnatal month 8 onwards. Hearing loss was initially seen at postnatal month 6 and progressed thereafter for frequency-specific stimuli, whereas click responses became abnormal from postnatal month 13 onward. The progressive hearing loss correlated with the accumulation of inclusion bodies in the satellite cells and their subsequent degeneration. Outer hair cell numbers and efferent function measures (distortion product otoacoustic emissions and contralateral suppression) were normal in the B(-/-) mice throughout this period. Alcian blue staining of SGs demonstrated that these inclusion bodies corresponded to sulfatide accumulation. In contrast, changes in the vestibular system were much milder, but caused severe physiologic deficits. These results demonstrate that loss of Sap B function leads to progressive sulfatide accumulation in satellite cells surrounding the SG neurons, leading to satellite cell degeneration and subsequent SG degeneration with a resultant loss of hearing. Relative sparing of the efferent auditory and vestibular neurons suggests that alternate glycosphingolipid metabolic pathways predominate in these other systems.
Teotia, Pooja; Chopra, Divyan A; Dravid, Shashank Manohar; Van Hook, Matthew J; Qiu, Fang; Morrison, John; Rizzino, Angie; Ahmad, Iqbal
Glaucoma is a complex group of diseases wherein a selective degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) lead to irreversible loss of vision. A comprehensive approach to glaucomatous RGC degeneration may include stem cells to functionally replace dead neurons through transplantation and understand RGCs vulnerability using a disease in a dish stem cell model. Both approaches require the directed generation of stable, functional, and target-specific RGCs from renewable sources of cells, that is, the embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Here, we demonstrate a rapid and safe, stage-specific, chemically defined protocol that selectively generates RGCs across species, including human, by recapitulating the developmental mechanism. The de novo generated RGCs from pluripotent cells are similar to native RGCs at the molecular, biochemical, functional levels. They also express axon guidance molecules, and discriminate between specific and nonspecific targets, and are nontumorigenic. Stem Cells 2017;35:572-585.
Nakamoto, Chizu; Kuan, Soh-Leh; Findlay, Amy S; Durward, Elaine; Ouyang, Zhufeng; Zakrzewska, Ewa D; Endo, Takuma; Nakamoto, Masaru
For correct functioning of the nervous system, the appropriate number and complement of neuronal cell types must be produced during development. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the production of individual classes of neurons are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the function of the thrombospondin-1-like glycoprotein, Nel (neural epidermal growth factor [EGF]-like), in the generation of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in chicks. During eye development, Nel is strongly expressed in the presumptive retinal pigment epithelium and RGCs. Nel overexpression in the developing retina by in ovo electroporation increases the number of RGCs, whereas the number of displaced amacrine cells decreases. Conversely, knockdown of Nel expression by transposon-mediated introduction of RNA interference constructs results in decrease in RGC number and increase in the number of displaced amacrine cells. Modifications of Nel expression levels do not appear to affect proliferation of retinal progenitor cells, but they significantly alter the progression rate of RGC differentiation from the central retina to the periphery. Furthermore, Nel protects RGCs from apoptosis during retinal development. These results indicate that Nel positively regulates RGC production by promoting their differentiation and survival during development.
Li, Hao; Zhang, Weiwei; Liu, Guixiang; Li, Jianmin; Liu, Huaxiang; Li, Zhenzhong
The neurotrophic factor-like activity of monosialoganglioside (GM1) has been shown to activate tyrosine kinase receptors (Trk). Targets of neuronal innervation play a vital role in regulating the survival and differentiation of innervating neurotrophin-responsive neurons. Both GM1 and target skeletal muscle (SKM) cells are essential for the maintenance of the function of neurons. However, much less is known about the effects of GM1 or/and target SKM cells on the expression of Trk receptors in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Here we have tested what extent to the expression of TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC receptors in primary cultured of DRG neurons in absence or presence of GM1 or/and SKM cells. In this experiment, we found that: (1) GM1 promoted expression of TrkA and TrkB but not TrkC in primary cultured DRG neurons; (2) target SKM cells promoted expression of TrkC but not TrkA and TrkB in neuromuscular cocultures without GM1 treatment; and (3) GM1 and target SKM cells had additional effects on expression of these three Trk receptors. The results of the present study offered new clues for a better understanding of the association of GM1 and target SKM on the expression of Trk receptors.
Kador, Karl E; Grogan, Shawn P; Dorthé, Erik W; Venugopalan, Praseeda; Malek, Monisha F; Goldberg, Jeffrey L; D'lima, Darryl D
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are responsible for the transfer of signals from the retina to the brain. As part of the central nervous system, RGCs are unable to regenerate following injury, and implanted cells have limited capacity to orient and integrate in vivo. During development, secreted guidance molecules along with signals from extracellular matrix and the vasculature guide cell positioning, for example, around the fovea, and axon outgrowth; however, these changes are temporally regulated and are not the same in the adult. Here, we combine electrospun cell transplantation scaffolds capable of RGC neurite guidance with thermal inkjet 3D cell printing techniques capable of precise positioning of RGCs on the scaffold surface. Optimal printing parameters are developed for viability, electrophysiological function and, neurite pathfinding. Different media, commonly used to promote RGC survival and growth, were tested under varying conditions. When printed in growth media containing both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), RGCs maintained survival and normal electrophysiological function, and displayed radial axon outgrowth when printed onto electrospun scaffolds. These results demonstrate that 3D printing technology may be combined with complex electrospun surfaces in the design of future retinal models or therapies.
Kador, Karl E.; Grogan, Shawn P.; Dorthé, Erik W.; Venugopalan, Praseeda; Malek, Monisha F.
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are responsible for the transfer of signals from the retina to the brain. As part of the central nervous system, RGCs are unable to regenerate following injury, and implanted cells have limited capacity to orient and integrate in vivo. During development, secreted guidance molecules along with signals from extracellular matrix and the vasculature guide cell positioning, for example, around the fovea, and axon outgrowth; however, these changes are temporally regulated and are not the same in the adult. Here, we combine electrospun cell transplantation scaffolds capable of RGC neurite guidance with thermal inkjet 3D cell printing techniques capable of precise positioning of RGCs on the scaffold surface. Optimal printing parameters are developed for viability, electrophysiological function and, neurite pathfinding. Different media, commonly used to promote RGC survival and growth, were tested under varying conditions. When printed in growth media containing both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), RGCs maintained survival and normal electrophysiological function, and displayed radial axon outgrowth when printed onto electrospun scaffolds. These results demonstrate that 3D printing technology may be combined with complex electrospun surfaces in the design of future retinal models or therapies. PMID:26729061
Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Swale, Daniel; Leray, Xavier; Benzidane, Yassine; Lebreton, Jacques; Bloomquist, Jeffrey R; Thany, Steeve H
We have recently demonstrated that a new quinuclidine benzamide compound named LMA10203 acted as an agonist of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Its specific pharmacological profile on cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons (DUM) helped to identify alpha-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2 receptors. In the present study, we tested its effect on cockroach Kenyon cells. We found that it induced an inward current demonstrating that it bounds to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed on Kenyon cells. Interestingly, LMA10203-induced currents were completely blocked by the nicotinic antagonist α-bungarotoxin. We suggested that LMA10203 effect occurred through the activation of α-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors and did not involve α-bungarotoxin-insensitive nAChR2, previously identified in DUM neurons. In addition, we have synthesized two new compounds, LMA10210 and LMA10211, and compared their effects on Kenyon cells. These compounds were members of the 3-quinuclidinyl benzamide or benzoate families. Interestingly, 1 mM LMA10210 was not able to induce an inward current on Kenyon cells compared to LMA10211. Similarly, we did not find any significant effect of LMA10210 on cockroach ganglionic depolarization, whereas these three compounds were able to induce an effect on the central nervous system of the third instar M. domestica larvae. Our data suggested that these three compounds could bind to distinct cockroach nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
The distribution of 125I-wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) transported by axons of chick retinal ganglion cells to layer d of the optic tectum was studied by electron microscopic autoradiography. We found that 52% of the radioactivity was located in axons and axon terminals in the contralateral optic tectum 22 h after intravitreal injection of affinity-purified 125I-WGA. Axons comprised 43% of the volume of layer d. Dendrites, glial cells, and neuron cell bodies contained 20%, 17%, and 3% of the label, whereas these structures comprised 24%, 21%, and 2% of the tissue volume, respectively. We also measured the distances between the autoradiographic silver grains and the plasma membranes of these profiles, and compared observed distributions of grains to theoretical distributions computed for band-shaped sources at various distances from the plasma membranes. This analysis revealed that the radioactive source within axons was distributed in a band of cytoplasm extending in from the plasma membrane a distance of 63 nm. Because WGA is known to bind to specific membrane glycoconjugates, we infer that at least some glycoconjugates may be concentrated within an annular region of cytoplasm just beneath the axonal plasma membrane after axoplasmic transport from the neuron cell body. PMID:6187749
Della Santina, Luca; Inman, Denise M.; Lupien, Caroline B.; Horner, Philip J.
Intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation is a principal risk factor for glaucoma. Using a microbead injection technique to chronically raise IOP for 15 or 30 d in mice, we identified the early changes in visual response properties of different types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and correlated these changes with neuronal morphology before cell death. Microbead-injected eyes showed reduced optokinetic tracking as well as cell death. In such eyes, multielectrode array recordings revealed that four RGC types show diverse alterations in their light responses upon IOP elevation. OFF-transient RGCs exhibited a more rapid decline in both structural and functional organizations compared with other RGCs. In contrast, although the light-evoked responses of OFF-sustained RGCs were perturbed, the dendritic arbor of this cell type remained intact. ON-transient and ON-sustained RGCs had normal functional receptive field sizes but their spontaneous and light-evoked firing rates were reduced. ON- and OFF-sustained RGCs lost excitatory synapses across an otherwise structurally normal dendritic arbor. Together, our observations indicate that there are changes in spontaneous activity and light-evoked responses in RGCs before detectable dendritic loss. However, when dendrites retract, we found corresponding changes in receptive field center size. Importantly, the effects of IOP elevation are not uniformly manifested in the structure and function of diverse RGC populations, nor are distinct RGC types perturbed within the same time-frame by such a challenge. PMID:24174678
Mitkus, Mindaugas; Chaib, Sandra; Lind, Olle; Kelber, Almut
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) isodensity maps indicate important regions in an animal's visual field. These maps can also be combined with measures of focal length to estimate the theoretical visual acuity. Here we present the RGC isodensity maps and anatomical spatial resolving power in three budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and two Bourke's parrots (Neopsephotus bourkii). Because RGCs were stacked in several layers, we modified the Nissl staining procedure to assess the cell number in the whole-mounted and cross-sectioned tissue of the same retinal specimen. The retinal topography showed surprising variation; however, both parrot species had an area centralis without discernable fovea. Budgerigars also had a putative area nasalis never reported in birds before. The peak RGC density was 22,300-34,200 cells/mm(2) in budgerigars and 18,100-38,000 cells/mm(2) in Bourke's parrots. The maximum visual acuity based on RGCs and focal length was 6.9 cyc/deg in budgerigars and 9.2 cyc/deg in Bourke's parrots. These results are lower than earlier behavioural estimates. Our findings illustrate that retinal topography is not a very fixed trait and that theoretical visual acuity estimations based on RGC density can be lower than the behavioural performance of the bird.
Welsbie, Derek S.; Yang, Zhiyong; Ge, Yan; Mitchell, Katherine L.; Zhou, Xinrong; Martin, Scott E.; Berlinicke, Cynthia A.; Hackler, Laszlo; Fuller, John; Fu, Jie; Cao, Li-hui; Han, Bing; Auld, Douglas; Xue, Tian; Hirai, Syu-ichi; Germain, Lucie; Simard-Bisson, Caroline; Blouin, Richard; Nguyen, Judy V.; Davis, Chung-ha O.; Enke, Raymond A.; Boye, Sanford L.; Merbs, Shannath L.; Marsh-Armstrong, Nicholas; Hauswirth, William W.; DiAntonio, Aaron; Nickells, Robert W.; Inglese, James; Hanes, Justin; Yau, King-Wai; Quigley, Harry A.; Zack, Donald J.
Glaucoma, a major cause of blindness worldwide, is a neurodegenerative optic neuropathy in which vision loss is caused by loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). To better define the pathways mediating RGC death and identify targets for the development of neuroprotective drugs, we developed a high-throughput RNA interference screen with primary RGCs and used it to screen the full mouse kinome. The screen identified dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) as a key neuroprotective target in RGCs. In cultured RGCs, DLK signaling is both necessary and sufficient for cell death. DLK undergoes robust posttranscriptional up-regulation in response to axonal injury in vitro and in vivo. Using a conditional knockout approach, we confirmed that DLK is required for RGC JNK activation and cell death in a rodent model of optic neuropathy. In addition, tozasertib, a small molecule protein kinase inhibitor with activity against DLK, protects RGCs from cell death in rodent glaucoma and traumatic optic neuropathy models. Together, our results establish a previously undescribed drug/drug target combination in glaucoma, identify an early marker of RGC injury, and provide a starting point for the development of more specific neuroprotective DLK inhibitors for the treatment of glaucoma, nonglaucomatous forms of optic neuropathy, and perhaps other CNS neurodegenerations. PMID:23431148
Li, Yiqing; Andereggen, Lukas; Yuki, Kenya; Omura, Kumiko; Yin, Yuqin; Gilbert, Hui-Ya; Erdogan, Burcu; Asdourian, Maria S; Shrock, Christine; de Lima, Silmara; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Zhuo, Yehong; Hershfinkel, Michal; Lippard, Stephen J; Rosenberg, Paul A; Benowitz, Larry
Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the projection neurons of the eye, cannot regenerate their axons once the optic nerve has been injured and soon begin to die. Whereas RGC death and regenerative failure are widely viewed as being cell-autonomous or influenced by various types of glia, we report here that the dysregulation of mobile zinc (Zn(2+)) in retinal interneurons is a primary factor. Within an hour after the optic nerve is injured, Zn(2+) increases several-fold in retinal amacrine cell processes and continues to rise over the first day, then transfers slowly to RGCs via vesicular release. Zn(2+) accumulation in amacrine cell processes involves the Zn(2+) transporter protein ZnT-3, and deletion of slc30a3, the gene encoding ZnT-3, promotes RGC survival and axon regeneration. Intravitreal injection of Zn(2+) chelators enables many RGCs to survive for months after nerve injury and regenerate axons, and enhances the prosurvival and regenerative effects of deleting the gene for phosphatase and tensin homolog (pten). Importantly, the therapeutic window for Zn(2+) chelation extends for several days after nerve injury. These results show that retinal Zn(2+) dysregulation is a major factor limiting the survival and regenerative capacity of injured RGCs, and point to Zn(2+) chelation as a strategy to promote long-term RGC protection and enhance axon regeneration.
Göz, Didem; Studholme, Keith; Lappi, Douglas A.; Rollag, Mark D.; Provencio, Ignacio; Morin, Lawrence P.
Non-image related responses to light, such as the synchronization of circadian rhythms to the day/night cycle, are mediated by classical rod/cone photoreceptors and by a small subset of retinal ganglion cells that are intrinsically photosensitive, expressing the photopigment, melanopsin. This raises the possibility that the melanopsin cells may be serving as a conduit for photic information detected by the rods and/or cones. To test this idea, we developed a specific immunotoxin consisting of an anti-melanopsin antibody conjugated to the ribosome-inactivating protein, saporin. Intravitreal injection of this immunotoxin results in targeted destruction of melanopsin cells. We find that the specific loss of these cells in the adult mouse retina alters the effects of light on circadian rhythms. In particular, the photosensitivity of the circadian system is significantly attenuated. A subset of animals becomes non-responsive to the light/dark cycle, a characteristic previously observed in mice lacking rods, cones, and functional melanopsin cells. Mice lacking melanopsin cells are also unable to show light induced negative masking, a phenomenon known to be mediated by such cells, but both visual cliff and light/dark preference responses are normal. These data suggest that cells containing melanopsin do indeed function as a conduit for rod and/or cone information for certain non-image forming visual responses. Furthermore, we have developed a technique to specifically ablate melanopsin cells in the fully developed adult retina. This approach can be applied to any species subject to the existence of appropriate anti-melanopsin antibodies. PMID:18773079
Guo, Feng; Li, Peng; French, Jarrod B; Mao, Zhangming; Zhao, Hong; Li, Sixing; Nama, Nitesh; Fick, James R; Benkovic, Stephen J; Huang, Tony Jun
The interactions between pairs of cells and within multicellular assemblies are critical to many biological processes such as intercellular communication, tissue and organ formation, immunological reactions, and cancer metastasis. The ability to precisely control the position of cells relative to one another and within larger cellular assemblies will enable the investigation and characterization of phenomena not currently accessible by conventional in vitro methods. We present a versatile surface acoustic wave technique that is capable of controlling the intercellular distance and spatial arrangement of cells with micrometer level resolution. This technique is, to our knowledge, among the first of its kind to marry high precision and high throughput into a single extremely versatile and wholly biocompatible technology. We demonstrated the capabilities of the system to precisely control intercellular distance, assemble cells with defined geometries, maintain cellular assemblies in suspension, and translate these suspended assemblies to adherent states, all in a contactless, biocompatible manner. As an example of the power of this system, this technology was used to quantitatively investigate the gap junctional intercellular communication in several homotypic and heterotypic populations by visualizing the transfer of fluorescent dye between cells.
Larabee, Chelsea M.; Hu, Yang; Desai, Shruti; Georgescu, Constantin; Wren, Jonathan D.; Axtell, Robert C.
Purpose Optic neuritis affects most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and current treatments are unreliable. The purpose of this study was to characterize the contribution of Th1 and Th17 cells to the development of optic neuritis. Methods Mice were passively transferred myelin-specific Th1 or Th17 cells to induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model of neuroautoimmunity. Visual acuity was assessed daily with optokinetic tracking, and 1, 2, and 3 weeks post-induction, optic nerves and retinas were harvested for immunohistochemical analyses. Results Passive transfer experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis elicits acute episodes of asymmetric visual deficits and is exacerbated in Th17-EAE relative to Th1-EAE. The Th17-EAE optic nerves contained more inflammatory infiltrates and an increased neutrophil to macrophage ratio. Significant geographic degeneration of the retinal ganglion cells accompanied Th17-EAE but not Th1. Conclusions Th17-induced transfer EAE recapitulates pathologies observed in MS-associated optic neuritis, namely, monocular episodes of vision loss, optic nerve inflammation, and geographic retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration. PMID:27122964
Coimbra, João Paulo; Kaswera-Kyamakya, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Manger, Paul R; Collin, Shaun P
The family Herpestidae (cusimanses and mongooses) is a monophyletic radiation of carnivores with remarkable variation in microhabitat occupation and diel activity, but virtually nothing is known about how they use vision in the context of their behavioral ecology. In this paper, we measured the number and topographic distribution of neurons (rods, cones and retinal ganglion cells) and estimated the spatial resolving power of the eye of the diurnal, forest-dwelling Ansorge's cusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei). Using retinal wholemounts and stereology, we found that rods are more numerous (42,500,000; 92%) than cones (3,900,000; 8%). Rod densities form a concentric and dorsotemporally asymmetric plateau that matches the location and shape of a bright yellow tapetum lucidum located within the dorsal aspect of the eye. Maximum rod density (340,300 cells/mm(2)) occurs within an elongated plateau below the optic disc that corresponds to a transitional region between the tapetum lucidum and the pigmented choroid. Cone densities form a temporal area with a peak density of 44,500 cells/mm(2) embedded in a weak horizontal streak that matches the topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells. Convergence ratios of cones to retinal ganglion cells vary from 50:1 in the far periphery to 3:1 in the temporal area. With a ganglion cell peak density of 13,400 cells/mm(2) and an eye size of 11 mm in axial length, we estimated upper limits of spatial resolution of 7.5-8 cycles/degree, which is comparable to other carnivores such as hyenas. In conclusion, we suggest that the topographic retinal traits described for Ansorge's cusimanse conform to a presumed carnivore retinal blueprint but also show variations that reflect its specific ecological needs.
Mohammed, Taybia; Murphy, Mark F; Lilley, Francis; Burton, David R; Bezombes, Frederic
Cells are known to interact and respond to external mechanical cues and recent work has shown that application of mechanical stimulation, delivered via acoustic vibration, can be used to control complex cell behaviours. Fibroblast cells are known to respond to physical cues generated in the extracellular matrix and it is thought that such cues are important regulators of the wound healing process. Many conditions are associated with poor wound healing, so there is need for treatments/interventions, which can help accelerate the wound healing process. The primary aim of this research was to investigate the effects of mechanical stimulation upon the migratory and morphological properties of two different fibroblast cells namely; human lung fibroblast cells (LL24) and subcutaneous areolar/adipose mouse fibroblast cells (L929). Using a speaker-based system, the effects of mechanical stimulation (0-1600Hz for 5min) on the mean cell migration distance (μm) and actin organisation was investigated. The results show that 100Hz acoustic vibration enhanced cell migration for both cell lines whereas acoustic vibration above 100Hz was found to decrease cell migration in a frequency dependent manner. Mechanical stimulation was also found to promote changes to the morphology of both cell lines, particularly the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia. Overall lamellipodia was the most prominent actin structure displayed by the lung cell (LL24), whereas filopodia was the most prominent actin feature displayed by the fibroblast derived from subcutaneous areolar/adipose tissue. Mechanical stimulation at all the frequencies used here was found not to affect cell viability. These results suggest that low-frequency acoustic vibration may be used as a tool to manipulate the mechanosensitivity of cells to promote cell migration.
Kumamoto, Jun-Ichi; Nakatani, Masashi; Tsutsumi, Moe; Goto, Makiko; Denda, Sumiko; Takei, Kentaro; Denda, Mitsuhiro
The density of peripheral nerve fibres is increased in atopic dermatitis. Moreover, reduction in the fibres in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis reduces scratching behaviour. Thus, regulation of nerve fibre extension could be an effective strategy to reduce itching in pruritus dermatosis. In this study, we established a new coculture system of keratinocytes and dorsal-root-ganglion-derived cells using an apparatus, AXIS(™) , which consists of two different channels connected via a set of microgrooves, through which signalling molecules and axons, but not living cells, can pass. When we seeded keratinocytes in one chamber, extension of nerve fibres was observed from dorsal root ganglion cells seeded in the other chamber. Addition of anti-BDNF antibody in the keratinocyte-seeded chamber significantly reduced the extension. Application of Semaphorin 3A also reduced the extension by approximately 50%. We suggest that this coculture system may be useful for screening of anti-itching drugs.
Wang, Siran; Ghezzi, Chiara E; White, James D; Kaplan, David L
Corneal tissue displays the highest peripheral nerve density in the human body. Engineering of biomaterials to promote interactions between neurons and corneal tissue could provide tissue models for nerve/cornea development, platforms for drug screening, as well as innovative opportunities to regenerate cornea tissue. The focus of this study was to develop a coculture system for differentiated human corneal stromal stem cells (dhCSSCs) and dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRG) to mimic the human cornea tissue interactions. Axon extension, connectivity, and neuron cell viability were studied. DRG neurons developed longer axons when cocultured with dhCSSCs in comparison to neuron cultures alone. To assess the mechanism involved in the coculture response, nerve growth factors (NGF) secreted by dhCSSCs including NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and neurotrophin-3 were characterized with greater focus on BDNF secretion. DhCSSCs also secreted collagen type I, an extracellular matrix molecule favorable for neuronal outgrowth. This coculture system provides a slowly degrading silk matrix to study neuronal responses in concert with hCSSCs related to innervation of corneal tissue with utility toward human corneal nerve regeneration and associated diseases.
Zhang, Ting; Huang, Lu; Zhang, Li; Tan, Minjie; Pu, Mingliang; Pickard, Gary E; So, Kwok-Fai; Ren, Chaoran
The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), the major source of serotonergic input to the forebrain, receives excitatory input from the retina that can modulate serotonin levels and depressive-like behavior. In the Mongolian gerbil, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with alpha-like morphological and Y-like physiological properties innervate the DRN with ON DRN-projecting RGCs out numbering OFF DRN-projecting RGCs. The DRN neurons targeted by ON and OFF RGCs are unknown. To explore retino-raphe anatomical organization, retinal afferents labeled with Cholera toxin B were examined for association with the postsynaptic protein PSD-95. Synaptic associations between retinal afferents and DRN serotonergic and GABAergic neurons were observed. To explore retino-raphe functional organization, light-evoked c-fos expression was examined. Light significantly increased the number of DRN serotonergic and GABAergic cells expressing c-Fos. When ON RGCs were rendered silent while enhancing the firing rate of OFF RGCs, c-Fos expression was greatly increased in DRN serotonergic neurons suggesting that OFF DRN-projecting RGCs predominately activate serotonergic neurons whereas ON DRN-projecting RGCs mainly target GABAergic neurons. Direct glutamatergic retinal input to DRN 5-HT neurons contributes to the complex excitatory drive regulating these cells. Light, via the retinoraphe pathway can modify DRN 5-HT neuron activity which may play a role in modulating affective behavior.
Yee, Christopher W; Toychiev, Abduqodir H; Ivanova, Elena; Sagdullaev, Botir T
Retinal degeneration describes a group of disorders which lead to progressive photoreceptor cell death, resulting in blindness. As this occurs, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) begin to develop oscillatory physiological activity. Here, we studied the morphological and physiological properties of RGCs in rd1 mice, aged 30–60 days, to determine how this aberrant activity correlates with morphology. Patch-clamp recordings of excitatory and inhibitory currents were performed, then dendritic structures were visualized by infusion of fluorescent dye. Only RGCs with oscillatory activity were selected for further analysis. Oscillatory frequency and power were calculated using power spectral density analysis of recorded currents. Dendritic arbor stratification, total length, and area were measured from confocal microscope image stacks. These measurements were used to sort RGCs by cluster analysis using Ward’s method. This resulted in a total of 10 clusters, with monostratified and bistratified cells having 5 clusters each. Both populations exhibited correlations between arbor stratification and aberrant inhibitory input, while excitatory input did not vary with arbor distribution. These findings illustrate the relationship between aberrant activity and RGC morphology at early stages of retinal degeneration. PMID:25099614
Wu, Fuguo; Kaczynski, Tadeusz J; Sethuramanujam, Santhosh; Li, Renzhong; Jain, Varsha; Slaughter, Malcolm; Mu, Xiuqian
As with other retinal cell types, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) arise from multipotent retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), and their formation is regulated by a hierarchical gene-regulatory network (GRN). Within this GRN, three transcription factors--atonal homolog 7 (Atoh7), POU domain, class 4, transcription factor 2 (Pou4f2), and insulin gene enhancer protein 1 (Isl1)--occupy key node positions at two different stages of RGC development. Atoh7 is upstream and is required for RPCs to gain competence for an RGC fate, whereas Pou4f2 and Isl1 are downstream and regulate RGC differentiation. However, the genetic and molecular basis for the specification of the RGC fate, a key step in RGC development, remains unclear. Here we report that ectopic expression of Pou4f2 and Isl1 in the Atoh7-null retina using a binary knockin-transgenic system is sufficient for the specification of the RGC fate. The RGCs thus formed are largely normal in gene expression, survive to postnatal stages, and are physiologically functional. Our results indicate that Pou4f2 and Isl1 compose a minimally sufficient regulatory core for the RGC fate. We further conclude that during development a core group of limited transcription factors, including Pou4f2 and Isl1, function downstream of Atoh7 to determine the RGC fate and initiate RGC differentiation.
Zhang, Ting; Huang, Lu; Zhang, Li; Tan, Minjie; Pu, Mingliang; Pickard, Gary E.; So, Kwok-Fai; Ren, Chaoran
The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), the major source of serotonergic input to the forebrain, receives excitatory input from the retina that can modulate serotonin levels and depressive-like behavior. In the Mongolian gerbil, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with alpha-like morphological and Y-like physiological properties innervate the DRN with ON DRN-projecting RGCs out numbering OFF DRN-projecting RGCs. The DRN neurons targeted by ON and OFF RGCs are unknown. To explore retino-raphe anatomical organization, retinal afferents labeled with Cholera toxin B were examined for association with the postsynaptic protein PSD-95. Synaptic associations between retinal afferents and DRN serotonergic and GABAergic neurons were observed. To explore retino-raphe functional organization, light-evoked c-fos expression was examined. Light significantly increased the number of DRN serotonergic and GABAergic cells expressing c-Fos. When ON RGCs were rendered silent while enhancing the firing rate of OFF RGCs, c-Fos expression was greatly increased in DRN serotonergic neurons suggesting that OFF DRN-projecting RGCs predominately activate serotonergic neurons whereas ON DRN-projecting RGCs mainly target GABAergic neurons. Direct glutamatergic retinal input to DRN 5-HT neurons contributes to the complex excitatory drive regulating these cells. Light, via the retinoraphe pathway can modify DRN 5-HT neuron activity which may play a role in modulating affective behavior. PMID:27181078
Eickenscheidt, Max; Zeck, Günther
Objective. The initiation of an action potential by extracellular stimulation occurs after local depolarization of the neuronal membrane above threshold. Although the technique shows remarkable clinical success, the site of action and the relevant stimulation parameters are not completely understood. Approach. Here we identify the site of action potential initiation in rabbit retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) interfaced to an array of extracellular capacitive stimulation electrodes. We determine which feature of the extracellular potential governs action potential initiation by simultaneous stimulation and recording RGCs interfaced in epiretinal configuration. Stimulation electrodes were combined to areas of different size and were presented at different positions with respect to the RGC. Main results. Based on stimulation by electrodes beneath the RGC soma and simultaneous sub-millisecond latency measurement we infer axonal initiation at the site of maximal curvature of the extracellular potential. Stimulation by electrodes at different positions along the axon reveals a nearly constant threshold current density except for a narrow region close to the cell soma. These findings are explained by the concept of the activating function modified to consider a region of lower excitability close to the cell soma. Significance. We present a framework how to estimate the site of action potential initiation and the stimulus required to cross threshold in neurons tightly interfaced to capacitive stimulation electrodes. Our results underscore the necessity of rigorous electrical characterization of the stimulation electrodes and of the interfaced neural tissue.
Gao, Feng-Juan; Wu, Ji-Hong; Li, Ting-Ting; Du, Shan-Shan; Wu, Qiang
Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF), a newly discovered secreted neurotrophic factor, has been proven to not only protect dopaminergic neurons and other cell types but also regulate neuroinflammation and the immune response to promote tissue repair and regeneration. However, to date, there is no information regarding the relationship between MANF and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the eye. In the current study, we first determined the expression of MANF in the retina and vitreous. Then, we examined the effect of MANF on RGCs using both in vivo and in vitro models and simultaneously explored the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms of MANF. Finally, we measured the concentrations of MANF in the vitreous of patients with different retinopathies. We demonstrated that MANF was highly expressed in RGCs and that exogenous MANF could protect RGCs from hypoxia-induced cell injury and apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo by preventing endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis. Furthermore, MANF can be detected in the vitreous humor, and the concentration changed under pathological conditions. Our results provide important evidence that MANF may be a potential therapeutic protein for a range of retinal pathologies in either the preclinical stage or after diagnosis to promote the survival of RGCs. Vitreous MANF may be a promising protein biomarker for the indirect assessment of retinal disorders, which could provide indirect evidence of retinal pathology. PMID:28367115
Fan, Yihong; Hooker, Bradley A; Garrison, Tiffany Runyan; El-Kouhen, Odile F; Idler, Kenneth B; Holley-Shanks, Rhonda R; Meyer, Michael D; Yao, Betty Bei
The behavioral effects evoked by cannabinoids are primarily mediated by the CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptor subtypes. In vitro pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors has been elucidated using recombinant expression systems expressing either CB(1) or CB(2) receptors, with limited characterization in native cell lines endogenously expressing both CB(1) and CB(2) receptors. In the current study, we report the molecular and pharmacological characterization of the F-11 cell line, a hybridoma of rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and mouse neuroblastoma (N18TG2) cells, reported to endogenously express both cannabinoid receptors. The present study revealed that both receptors are of mouse origin in F-11 cells, and describes the relative gene expression levels between the two receptors. Pharmacological characterization of the F-11 cell line using cannabinoid agonists and antagonists indicated that the functional responses to these cannabinoid ligands are mainly mediated by CB(1) receptors. The non-selective cannabinoid ligands CP 55,940 and WIN 55212-2 are potent agonists and their efficacies in adenylate cyclase and MAPK assays are inhibited by the CB(1) selective antagonist SR141716A (SR1), but not by the CB(2) selective antagonist SR144528 (SR2). The endocannabinoid ligand 2AG, although not active in adenylate cyclase assays, was a potent activator of MAPK signaling in F-11 cells. The analysis of CB(1) and CB(2) receptor gene expression and the characterization of cannabinoid receptor pharmacology in the F-11 cell line demonstrate that it can be used as a tool for interrogating the endogenous signal transduction of cannabinoid receptor subtypes.
Zhang, Weiwei; Li, Zhenzhong
Targets of neuronal innervations play a vital role in regulating the survival and differentiation of innervating neurotrophin-responsive neurons. During development, neurons extend axons to their targets, and then their survival become dependent on the trophic substances secreted by their target cells. Sensory endings were present on myoblasts, myotubes, and myofibers in all intrafusal bundles regardless of age. The interdependence of sensory neurons and skeletal muscle (SKM) cells during both embryonic development and the maintenance of the mature functional state has not been fully understood. In the present study, neuromuscular cocultures of organotypic dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants and dissociate SKM cells were established. Using this culture system, the morphological relationship between DRG neurons and SKM cells, neurites growth and neuronal migration were investigated. The migrating neurons were determined by fluorescent labeling of microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2) and neurofilament 200 (NF-200) or growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43). The expression of NF-200 and GAP-43 and their mRNAs was evaluated by Western blot assay and real time-PCR analysis. The results reveal that DRG explants showed more dense neurites outgrowth in neuromuscular cocultures as compared with that in the culture of DRG explants alone. The number of total migrating neurons (the MAP-2-expressing neurons) and the percentage NF-200-immunoreactive (IR) and GAP-43-IR neurons increased significantly in the presence of SKM cells. The levels of NF-200 and GAP-43 and their mRNAs increased significantly in neuromuscular cocultures as compared with that in the culture of DRG explants alone. These results suggested that target SKM cells play an important role in regulating neuronal protein synthesis, promoting neuritis outgrowth and neuronal migration of DRG explants in vitro. These results not only provide new clues for a better understanding of the association of SKM cells with
The abdominal ganglion of Aplysia includes neurons with a characteristic dopamine (DA) receptor, the activation of which induces a marked hyperpolarization with a specific increase in the permeability of the membrane to K+. The DA receptor of this type is called the "HK-type." A 2-min exposure to 1 microM serotonin (5-HT) had little effect on the resting membranes with the receptor of HK-type, but significantly depressed the responses to 10 microM DA. The depressing effect of 5-HT on this type of response was completely reversible after a 15-min washing with normal artificial Aplysia blood. Lineweaver-Burke type plotting of the DA-induced responses showed a systematic shift of the straight lines when the concentration of 5-HT was increased; the slope of the line became steeper but the intercept on the ordinate remained unchanged. The dose-inhibition curves, in which relative responses to a given [DA] were plotted against log [5-HT], showed a parallel shift toward the right when the concentration of DA increased. These findings suggest that 5-HT competes with DA for common binding sites at the DA receptor of HK-type, and that the blockade is not due to the interaction of 5-HT with K+-channels in the receptor membrane. The effect of other indole derivatives suggests that the DA receptor of HK-type includes anionic and cationic sites to which the NH2 group and 5-HO group of 5-HT could specifically bind, thus exhibiting competitive blockade.
Hwang, Jae Youn; Kim, Jihun; Park, Jin Man; Lee, Changyang; Jung, Hayong; Lee, Jungwoo; Shung, K. Kirk
We demonstrate a noncontact single-beam acoustic trapping method for the quantification of the mechanical properties of a single suspended cell with label-free. Experimentally results show that the single-beam acoustic trapping force results in morphological deformation of a trapped cell. While a cancer cell was trapped in an acoustic beam focus, the morphological changes of the immobilized cell were monitored using bright-field imaging. The cell deformability was then compared with that of a trapped polystyrene microbead as a function of the applied acoustic pressure for a better understanding of the relationship between the pressure and degree of cell deformation. Cell deformation was found to become more pronounced as higher pressure levels were applied. Furthermore, to determine if this acoustic trapping method can be exploited in quantifying the cell mechanics in a suspension and in a non-contact manner, the deformability levels of breast cancer cells with different degrees of invasiveness due to acoustic trapping were compared. It was found that highly-invasive breast cancer cells exhibited greater deformability than weakly-invasive breast cancer cells. These results clearly demonstrate that the single-beam acoustic trapping technique is a promising tool for non-contact quantitative assessments of the mechanical properties of single cells in suspensions with label-free. PMID:27273365
Peng, Shanshan; Shi, Zhe; Su, Huanxing; So, Kwok-Fai; Cui, Qi
Injury to the central nervous system causes progressive degeneration of injured axons, leading to loss of the neuronal bodies. Neuronal survival after injury is a prerequisite for successful regeneration of injured axons. In this study, we investigated the effects of increased production of omega-3 fatty acids and elevation of cAMP on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and axonal regeneration after optic nerve (ON) crush injury in adult mice. We found that increased production of omega-3 fatty acids in mice enhanced RGC survival, but not axonal regeneration, over a period of 3 weeks after ON injury. cAMP elevation promoted RGC survival in wild type mice, but no significant difference in cell survival was seen in mice over-producing omega-3 fatty acids and receiving intravitreal injections of CPT-cAMP, suggesting that cAMP elevation protects RGCs after injury but does not potentiate the actions of the omega-3 fatty acids. The observed omega-3 fatty acid-mediated neuroprotection is likely achieved partially through ERK1/2 signaling as inhibition of this pathway by PD98059 hindered, but did not completely block, RGC protection. Our study thus enhances our current understanding of neural repair after CNS injury, including the visual system.