Retinal ganglion cell dendritic atrophy in DBA/2J glaucoma

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Abstract

Glaucoma is a complex disease affecting an estimated 70 million people worldwide, characterised by the progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and accompanying visual field loss. The common site of damage to retinal ganglion cells is thought to be at the optic nerve head, however evidence from other optic neuropathies and neurodegenerative disorders suggests that dendritic structures undergo a prolonged period of atrophy that may accompany or even precede soma loss and neuronal cell death. Using the DBA/2J mouse model of glaucoma this investigation aims to elucidate the impact of increasing intraocular pressure on retinal ganglion cell dendrites using DBA/2J mice that express YFP throughout the retinal ganglion cells driven by Thy1 (DBA/2J.Thy1(YFP)) and DiOlistically labelled retinal ganglion cells in DBA/2J mice. Here we show retinal ganglion cell dendritic degeneration in DiOlistically labelled DBA/2J retinal ganglion cells but not in the DBA/2J.Thy1(YFP) retinal ganglion cells suggesting that a potential downregulation of Thy1 allows only 'healthy' retinal ganglion cells to express YFP. These data may highlight alternative pathways to retinal ganglion cell loss in DBA/2J glaucoma.

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Williams, P. A., Howell, G. R., Barbay, J. M., Braine, C. E., Sousa, G. L., John, S. W. M., & Morgan, J. E. (2013). Retinal ganglion cell dendritic atrophy in DBA/2J glaucoma. PLoS ONE, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0072282

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