Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Identifying Cell Class Specific Losses from Serially Generated Electroretinogram Components
    Nguyen, CTO ; Vingrys, AJ ; Wong, VHY ; Bui, BV (HINDAWI LTD, 2013-01-01)
    PURPOSE: Processing of information through the cellular layers of the retina occurs in a serial manner. In the electroretinogram (ERG), this complicates interpretation of inner retinal changes as dysfunction may arise from "upstream" neurons or may indicate a direct loss to that neural generator. We propose an approach that addresses this issue by defining ERG gain relationships. METHODS: Regression analyses between two serial ERG parameters in a control cohort of rats are used to define gain relationships. These gains are then applied to two models of retinal disease. RESULTS: The PIII(amp) to PII(amp) gain is unity whereas the PII(amp) to pSTR(amp) and PII(amp) to nSTR(amp) gains are greater than unity, indicating "amplification" (P < 0.05). Timing relationships show amplification between PIII(it) to PII(it) and compression for PII(it) to pSTR(it) and PII(it) to nSTR(it), (P < 0.05). Application of these gains to ω-3-deficiency indicates that all timing changes are downstream of photoreceptor changes, but a direct pSTR amplitude loss occurs (P < 0.05). Application to diabetes indicates widespread inner retinal dysfunction which cannot be attributed to outer retinal changes (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This simple approach aids in the interpretation of inner retinal ERG changes by taking into account gain characteristics found between successive ERG components of normal animals.
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    Increase in mitochondrial DNA mutations impairs retinal function and renders the retina vulnerable to injury
    Kong, YXG ; Van Bergen, N ; Trounce, IA ; Bui, BV ; Chrysostomou, V ; Waugh, H ; Vingrys, A ; Crowston, JG (WILEY, 2011-08-01)
    Mouse models that accumulate high levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations owing to impairments in mitochondrial polymerase γ (PolG) proofreading function have been shown to develop phenotypes consistent with accelerated aging. As increase in mtDNA mutations and aging are risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases, we sought to determine whether increase in mtDNA mutations renders neurons more vulnerable to injury. We therefore examined the in vivo functional activity of retinal neurons and their ability to cope with stress in transgenic mice harboring a neural-targeted mutant PolG gene with an impaired proofreading capability (Kasahara, et al. (2006) Mol Psychiatry11(6):577-93, 523). We confirmed that the retina of these transgenic mice have increased mtDNA deletions and point mutations and decreased expression of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. Associated with these changes, the PolG transgenic mice demonstrated accelerated age-related loss in retinal function as measured by dark-adapted electroretinogram, particularly in the inner and middle retina. Furthermore, the retinal ganglion cell-dominant inner retinal function in PolG transgenic mice showed greater vulnerability to injury induced by raised intraocular pressure, an insult known to produce mechanical, metabolic, and oxidative stress in the retina. These findings indicate that an accumulation of mtDNA mutations is associated with impairment in neural function and reduced capacity of neurons to resist external stress in vivo, suggesting a potential mechanism whereby aging central nervous system can become more vulnerable to neurodegeneration.
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    Effect of acute intraocular pressure challenge on rat retinal and cortical function
    Tsai, Tina I. ; Bui, Bang V. ; Vingrys, Algis J. (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), 2014)
    Purpose: The global or gross response index of visual performance measured from the eye does not necessarily translate to global responses measured from the brain. A better understanding of this relationship would facilitate the monitoring of disease models that affect the visual pathway. We consider whether rod- and cone-retino-cortical-pathways are equally affected by acute IOP elevation. Methods: Acute, stepwise IOP elevation (10, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 mm Hg) was induced in anesthetized dark- (N = 8) and light-adapted pigmented rats (N = 6). Electroretinogram (ERG) and visual evoked potentials (VEP) were simultaneously measured after 10 minutes at each step. Relative amplitudes (treated/baseline, %) as a function of IOP level were described with a cumulative normal function. Results: Our results showed decline in scotopic and photopic ERGs with IOP elevation. Photopic ERG responses were less sensitive to IOP challenge than scotopic ERG responses. Despite significant reductions of ganglion cell–mediated waveforms at 70 mm Hg, the VEP showed only subtle decreases in amplitude. Intraocular pressure elevation produced similar effects on rod- and cone-mediated VEP waveforms. Conclusions: We show that cone signals are less sensitive than rod ERGs to acute IOP challenge. Also, retinal signals are more sensitive than are cortical signals to IOP stress, suggesting that cortical processing may act to salvage reductions expected from attenuated retinal output.
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    Sustained and Transient Contributions to the Rat Dark-Adapted Electroretinogram b-Wave
    Dang, TM ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (HINDAWI LTD, 2013-01-01)
    The most dominant feature of the electroretinogram, the b-wave, is thought to reflect ON-bipolar cell responses. However, a number of studies suggest that the b-wave is made up of several components. We consider the composition of the rat b-wave by subtracting corneal negative components obtained using intravitreal application of pharmacological agents to remove postreceptoral responses. By analyzing the intensity-response characteristic of the PII across a range of fixed times during and after a light step, we find that the rat isolated PII has 2 components. The first has fast rise and decay characteristics with a low sensitivity to light. GABAc-mediated inhibitory pathways enhance this transient-ON component to manifest increased and deceased sensitivity to light at shorter (<160 ms) and longer times, respectively. The second component has slower temporal characteristics but is more sensitive to light. GABAc-mediated inhibition enhances this sustained-ON component but has little effect on its sensitivity to light. After stimulus offset, both transient and sustained components return to baseline, and a long latency sustained positive component becomes apparent. The light sensitivities of transient-ON and sustained-OFF components are consistent with activity arising from cone ON- and OFF-bipolar cells, whereas the sustained-ON component is likely to arise from rod bipolar cells.