Restoration of the Retinal Structure and Function after Injury
Annual rept. 30 September 2012 29 September 2013
STANFORD UNIV PALO ALTO CA
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Shear forces inflicted by explosion or head impact may result in traumatic retinopathy due to damage of retinal pigment epithelium RPE and photoreceptors, leading to loss of sight. Similar injury to photoreceptors and RPE can be induced by exposure to a short pulse laser. Currently there is no therapy for such blind spots scotomata, and the loss of sight is permanent. This study is focused on development of strategies for elimination or reduction of retinal scotomata and scarring based utilization of retinal plasticity. We established a model of traumatic retinopathy using selective laser coagulation of RPE and photoreceptors in rabbits, based on rapid scanning with a continuous laser. We explore the extent of migration of the photoreceptors from the adjacent non-damaged areas into the damage zone and rewiring of the migrating photoreceptors to local inner retinal neurons. The shift of the photoreceptors into the damage zone over time is monitored with optical coherence tomography and histology. The extent of rewiring is assessed using electrophysiology on a multielectrode array. Within the 4 weeks we observed complete recovery of the 100um damage zone and nearly complete recovery of the 200um zone. Longer follow-up studies with larger damage zone 400um are in progress.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research