Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

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.

Other Grants

Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Microglial Lysosomes in Selective Neuronal Vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
How the Nervous System Constructs Internal Models of the External World
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the Orchestra of Movement—Functional Role of Striatal Astrocytes in Health and Disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…