Retinal neurodegeneration in experimental glaucoma.Prog Brain Res. 2015; 220:1-35.PB
In rats and mice, limbar tissues of the left eye were laser-photocoagulated (LP) and ocular hypertension (OHT) effects were investigated 1 week to 6 months later. To investigate the innermost layers, retinas were examined in wholemounts using tracing from the superior colliculi to identify retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with intact retrograde axonal transport, melanopsin immunodetection to identify intrinsically photosensitive RGCs (m(+)RGC), Brn3a immunodetection to identify most RGCs but not m(+)RGCs, RECA1 immunodetection to examine the inner retinal vessels, and DAPI staining to detect all nuclei in the GC layer. The outer retinal layers (ORLs) were examined in cross sections analyzed morphometrically or in wholemounts to study S- and L-cones. Innervation of the superior colliculi was examined 10 days to 14 weeks after LP with orthogradely transported cholera toxin subunit B. By 2 weeks, OHT resulted in pie-shaped sectors devoid of FG(+)RGCs or Brn3a(+)RGCs but with large numbers of DAPI(+)nuclei. Brn3a(+)RGCs were significantly greater than FG(+)RGCs, indicating the survival of large numbers of RGCs with their axonal transport impaired. The inner retinal vasculature showed no abnormalities that could account for the sectorial loss of RGCs. m(+)RGCs decreased to approximately 50-51% in a diffuse loss across the retina. Cross sections showed focal areas of degeneration in the ORLs. RGC loss at 1m diminished to 20-25% and did not progress further with time, whereas the S- and L-cone populations diminished progressively up to 6m. The retinotectal projection was reduced by 10 days and did not progress further. LP-induced OHT results in retrograde degeneration of RGCs and m(+)RGCs, severe damage to the ORL, and loss of retinotectal terminals.