Rodent Model of Perioperative Ischemic Optic Neuropathy
2008 Seed Grant
Steven Roth, M.D.
University of Chicago
This project will use a rat model of peri-operative ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) to examine
mechanisms of axonal injury and to provide important new data to understand and prevent an
important clinical problem that results in visual loss. Outcome after ischemia will be primarily
studied using functional criteria (evoked response to light flashes, and antegrade transmission
of tracers through the visual pathway measured using magnetic resonance imaging), by the
degree of edema or demyelination in the optic nerve (by MRI), and by molecular markers of cell
death in the retinal ganglion cells. By manipulating systemic blood pressure, hemoglobin levels,
and head position in rats placed for prolonged time periods in the prone position, we will
examine the mechanisms of the devastating injury and begin to evaluate preventive strategies.
Ischemic optic neuropathy is a devastating injury that results in visual loss. By gaining a better
understanding of the mechanisms of this injury, we will diminish suffering and the cost of care
for these patients. In addition, we will gain insights into the mechanisms of axonal loss after
ischemia. Axonal loss occurs in other conditions such as stroke, and therefore the implications
of our findings could be more widely applied.