Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Implantation and Recording of Wireless Electroretinogram and Visual Evoked Potential in Conscious Rats
    Charng, J ; He, Z ; Bui, B ; Vingrys, A ; Ivarsson, M ; Fish, R ; Gurrell, R ; Nguyen, C (JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, 2016-06-01)
    The full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP) are useful tools to assess retinal and visual pathway integrity in both laboratory and clinical settings. Currently, preclinical ERG and VEP measurements are performed with anesthesia to ensure stable electrode placements. However, the very presence of anesthesia has been shown to contaminate normal physiological responses. To overcome these anesthesia confounds, we develop a novel platform to assay ERG and VEP in conscious rats. Electrodes are surgically implanted sub-conjunctivally on the eye to assay the ERG and epidurally over the visual cortex to measure the VEP. A range of amplitude and sensitivity/timing parameters are assayed for both the ERG and VEP at increasing luminous energies. The ERG and VEP signals are shown to be stable and repeatable for at least 4 weeks post surgical implantation. This ability to record ERG and VEP signals without anesthesia confounds in the preclinical setting should provide superior translation to clinical data.
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    AAV-Mediated CRISPR/Cas Gene Editing of Retinal Cells In Vivo
    Hung, SSC ; Chrysostomou, V ; Li, F ; Lim, JKH ; Wang, J-H ; Powell, JE ; Tu, L ; Daniszewski, M ; Lo, C ; Wong, RC ; Crowston, JG ; Pebay, A ; King, AE ; Bui, BV ; Liu, G-S ; Hewitt, AW (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2016-06-01)
    PURPOSE: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) has recently been adapted to enable efficient editing of the mammalian genome, opening novel avenues for therapeutic intervention of inherited diseases. In seeking to disrupt yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in a Thy1-YFP transgenic mouse, we assessed the feasibility of utilizing the adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) to deliver CRISPR/Cas for gene modification of retinal cells in vivo. METHODS: Single guide RNA (sgRNA) plasmids were designed to target YFP, and after in vitro validation, selected guides were cloned into a dual AAV system. One AAV2 construct was used to deliver Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9), and the other delivered sgRNA against YFP or LacZ (control) in the presence of mCherry. Five weeks after intravitreal injection, retinal function was determined using electroretinography, and CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene modifications were quantified in retinal flat mounts. RESULTS: Adeno-associated virus 2-mediated in vivo delivery of SpCas9 with sgRNA targeting YFP significantly reduced the number of YFP fluorescent cells of the inner retina of our transgenic mouse model. Overall, we found an 84.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 81.8-86.9) reduction of YFP-positive cells in YFP-sgRNA-infected retinal cells compared to eyes treated with LacZ-sgRNA. Electroretinography profiling found no significant alteration in retinal function following AAV2-mediated delivery of CRISPR/Cas components compared to contralateral untreated eyes. CONCLUSIONS: Thy1-YFP transgenic mice were used as a rapid quantifiable means to assess the efficacy of CRISPR/Cas-based retinal gene modification in vivo. We demonstrate that genomic modification of cells in the adult retina can be readily achieved by viral-mediated delivery of CRISPR/Cas.
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    AAV-mediated gene delivery of the calreticulin anti-angiogenic domain inhibits ocular neovascularization
    Tu, L ; Wang, J-H ; Barathi, VA ; Prea, SM ; He, Z ; Lee, JH ; Bender, J ; King, AE ; Logan, GJ ; Alexander, IE ; Bee, Y-S ; Tai, M-H ; Dusting, GJ ; Bui, BV ; Zhong, J ; Liu, G-S (SPRINGER, 2018-02-01)
    Ocular neovascularization is a common pathological feature in diabetic retinopathy and neovascular age-related macular degeneration that can lead to severe vision loss. We evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of a novel endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis, the calreticulin anti-angiogenic domain (CAD180), and its functional 112-residue fragment, CAD-like peptide 112 (CAD112), delivered using a self-complementary adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (scAAV2) in rodent models of oxygen-induced retinopathy and laser-induced choroidal neovascularization. The expression of CAD180 and CAD112 was elevated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells transduced with scAAV2-CAD180 or scAAV2-CAD112, respectively, and both inhibited angiogenic activity in vitro. Intravitreal gene delivery of scAAV2-CAD180 or scAAV2-CAD112 significantly inhibited ischemia-induced retinal neovascularization in rat eyes (CAD180: 52.7% reduction; CAD112: 49.2% reduction) compared to scAAV2-mCherry, as measured in retinal flatmounts stained with isolectin B4. Moreover, the retinal structure and function were unaffected by scAAV2-CAD180 or scAAV2-CAD112, as measured by optical coherence tomography and electroretinography. Moreover, subretinal delivery of scAAV2-CAD180 or scAAV2-CAD112 significantly attenuated laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in mouse eyes compared to scAAV2-mCherry, as measured by fundus fluorescein angiography (CAD180: 62.4% reduction; CAD112: 57.5% reduction) and choroidal flatmounts (CAD180: 40.21% reduction; CAD112: 43.03% reduction). Gene delivery using scAAV2-CAD180 or scAAV2-CAD112 has significant potential as a therapeutic option for the management of ocular neovascularization.
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    Methods for In Vivo CRISPR/Cas Editing of the Adult Murine Retina
    Hung, SS ; Li, F ; Wang, J-H ; King, AE ; Bui, BV ; Liu, G-S ; Hewitt, AW ; Boon, CJF ; Wijnholds, J (HUMANA PRESS INC, 2018-01-01)
    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) is used by some bacteria and most archaea to protect against viral phage intrusion and has recently been adapted to allow for efficient editing of the mammalian genome. Whilst CRISPR/Cas-based technology has been used to modify genes in mammalian cells in vitro, delivery of CRISPR/Cas system into mammalian tissue and/or organs is more difficult and often requires additional vectors. With the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene delivery system, active CRISPR/Cas enzyme can be maintained for an extended period of time and enable efficient editing of genome in the retina in vivo. Herein we outline the method to edit the genome in mouse retina using a dual AAV vector -mediated CRISPR/Cas9 system.
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    Hypercapnia Impairs Vascular Responses to Changes in Ocular Perfusion Pressure in Rat Retina
    Cull, G ; Wang, L ; Bui, BV (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2018-07-01)
    Purpose : Retinal vascular resistance is constantly regulated by both myogenic and metabolic mechanisms. While most studies have investigated these mechanisms separately, how they interact to impact the vascular resistance is unclear. We considered whether hypercapnia (HC) modified the effect of ocular perfusion pressure (OPP) lowering, induced by lowering blood pressure (BP) or increasing intraocular pressure (IOP) on retinal vessel diameter (Ø). Methods : In pentobarbital anesthetized Brown Norway rats, breathing ~30% O2 air, normocapnia (NC) and hypercapnia (HC) were achieved by controlled ventilation. A gradual decrease in OPP, at the same rate for BP lowering or IOP elevation, was induced by drawing blood (1ml/min) from a femoral artery or by increasing the IOP manometrically from 10 to 70 mmHg (9.78 mmHg/min) in two subgroups for each NC (BP=7, IOP=9) and HC (BP=9, IOP=5). Arterial CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) was measured. In all groups, image sequences centered on the optic nerve were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (cSLO) every 1.5 minutes until OPP was < 20 mmHg. Arteries and veins at 1-disc diameter from optic nerve were analyzed. Change in Ø (%) was normalized to its own baseline (before pressure manipulation) and differences between NC and HC groups were compared. Results : Average pCO2levelwas 35 ±5 mmHg (n=12) in NC and 77 ±18 mmHg (n=10) in HC (p<0.001), and pO2 was >80 mmHg for all animals. In the NC group, lowering BP induced progressive arterial and venous dilation (P<0.0001 and 0.005, respectively. Fig 1); increasing IOP caused vasodilatation in arteries (P<0.0001), but not in veins (P>0.05, Fig 2). Vasodilation was evident when OPP dropped to 50-60 mmHg for both BP and IOP modification. During HC, IOP and BP induced arterial vasodilation was significantly attenuated and venous diameter showed greater compression (P<0.0001 both, 2-way ANOVA) compared to the NC groups. Conclusions : Carbon dioxide levels significantly modifies the capacity for retinal blood vessel to cope with reduction in OPP. This data show that the metabolic status of the retina profoundly impact vascular autoregulation, which has implication for metabolic diseases. This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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    Response of the trilaminar retinal vessel network to intraocular pressure elevation in rat eyes
    Bui, BV ; Zhao, D ; Wang, L ; Fortune, B ; He, Z (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2018-07-01)
    Purpose : It is known that inner retinal blood flow is autoregulated to compensate for changes in ocular perfusion pressure (OPP). However, studies have focused on the superficial vessels. Here we test the hypothesis that the superficial, intermediate and deep retinal vascular plexus show different responses to intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. Methods : Anesthetized (60:5mg/kg ketamine:xylazine) adult Long Evans rats (n=14) were imaged using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) at baseline (IOP 10mmHg) and in follow up mode to examine the vasculature during IOP elevation (10mmHg steps to 110mmHg, each lasting 3 min). We imaged a 20 x 10-degree field starting at one disc diameter from the optic disc margin. Capillary area (i.e. diameter) within a 2D projection image was determined (% region of interest) for three layers based on segmentation of the structural OCT: superficial vascular complex (SVC), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP) and deep capillary plexus (DVP). Increases and decreases in this parameter can be interpreted as functional “vasodilation” and “vasoconstriction”, respectively, of the column of blood flowing above threshold. Comparisons were made between layers (2-way repeated measures ANOVA, layer vs IOP) following normalisation to baseline (% relative to 10mmHg). Results : Group mean arterial blood pressure at baseline was 125±5 mmHg, thus for the IOPs examined OPP spanned 115±5 to -9±4 mmHg. For OPPs from 115±5 to 77±4 mmHg capillaries within the DCP (9±8%, p<0.05) and ICP (11±10%, p<0.05) showed significant “vasodilation”, whereas those in the SVC showed constriction (-14±6%, p<0.05). For OPPs between 63±4 and 38±4 mmHg, capillary diameter was maintained, by for OPPs below 38mmHg, all layers showed linear attenuation. Significant compression in tissue thickness (retinal nerve fibre, ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers and total retinal thickness) for the same regions were not found until OPP fell below 38mmHg. Conclusions : These data show that the intermediate and deep vascular plexus in the rat retina have a greater capacity for autoregulation against IOP elevation. This might reflect a redistribution of blood flow to the deeper layers during stress. This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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    Reversibility of retinal ganglion cell dysfunction due to chronic IOP elevation.
    Zhao, D ; Wong, VHY ; He, Z ; Nguyen, CTO ; Jobling, AI ; Fletcher, E ; Chinnery, H ; Jusuf, P ; Lim, JKH ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2018-07-01)
    Purpose : To determine the duration of chronic IOP elevation beyond which ganglion cell function can no longer recover using the mouse circumlimbal suture model. Methods : IOP elevation was induced in anaesthetized (isoflurane) adult male C57BL6/J mice by attaching a circumlimbal suture (nylon, 10/0) around the equator of one eye, with the contralateral eye serving as a control. The suture was left in place for 8, 12 and 16 weeks (n=27, 23 and 27), respectively, and animals underwent electroretinography and optical coherence tomography at these time points. In two other groups, the suture was removed after 8 and 12 weeks (n=26 and 28), and the capacity for recovery assessed 4 weeks later. IOP was measured weekly (Tonolab). Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function (or integrity) was assessed with the positive scotopic threshold response (pSTR) and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness. Data (mean ± SEM) were compared using t-test (control vs. treatment) and one-way ANOVA (within groups). Results : IOP in sutured eyes was higher than control eyes (8wk: 17.1 ± 0.3 vs. 26.8 ± 0.6 mmHg, 12wk: 13.8 ± 0.3 vs. 19.5 ± 0.5 mmHg, 16wk: 17.1 ± 0.2 vs. 27.4 ± 0.6 mmHg; all P<0.001). After suture removal, IOP returned to levels comparable to control eyes (8+4wk: 16.9 ± 0.3 vs. 16.1 ± 0.3 mmHg; P=0.08, 12+4wk: 17.3 ± 0.2 vs. 17.1 ± 0.3 mmHg; P=0.5). With IOP elevation, RGC function declined to 75% ± 8% (8wk), 78% ± 7% (12wk) and 59% ± 4% (16wk, all P<0.001) of control eyes. RNFL thinning was also evident (8wk: 84% ± 4%, 12wk: 83% ± 5%; 16wk: 83% ± 3%; P<0.001) but no change in total retinal thickness was noted (P=0.33). Suture removal at week 8 facilitated full recovery of RGC function (97% ± 7%, P=0.9 vs. baseline) 4 weeks later. However, there was no recovery in RNFL thickness (87% ± 3%, P<0.001 vs. baseline). When the suture was removed at week 12, neither function (79% ± 9%, P<0.05) nor RNFL thickness recovered (89% ± 3%, P<0.01) 4 weeks later. Conclusions : RGC dysfunction can be recovered 4 weeks after an 8-week period of mild IOP elevation, but not after a 12-week period. Beyond 12 weeks, IOP reversal only served to prevent further functional decline. This identifies a critical chronic IOP duration that results in irreversible ganglion cell dysfunction. This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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    Response of the Rat Optic Nerve to Acute Intraocular and Intracranial Pressure Changes
    Zhao, D ; He, Z ; Van Koeverden, A ; Vingrys, AJ ; Wong, VHY ; Lim, JKH ; Nguyen, CTO ; Bui, BV ; Wang, N (Springer, 2019)
    Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the progressive death of retinal ganglion cells. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is known to be an important risk factor for glaucoma; however, it is not the only force acting on the optic nerve. Intracranial pressure (ICP) also exerts an effect on the optic nerve head, effectively opposing the force applied by IOP. Indeed, this balance of forces creates a pressure gradient (or the translaminar pressure gradient) across the optic nerve head [1]. Increasingly it is thought that the pressure difference between IOP and ICP, the translaminar pressure (TLP), may be critical for the integrity of the retina and optic nerve [2], and thus ICP may be an important risk factor for glaucoma [2–6].
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    A Model of Glaucoma Induced by Circumlimbal Suture in Rats and Mice
    He, Z ; Zhao, D ; van Koeverden, AK ; Nguyen, CT ; Lim, JKH ; Wong, VHY ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018)
    The circumlimbal suture is a technique for inducing experimental glaucoma in rodents by chronically elevating intraocular pressure (IOP), a well-known risk factor for glaucoma. This protocol demonstrates a step-by-step guide on this technique in Long Evans rats and C57BL/6 mice. Under general anesthesia, a "purse-string" suture is applied on the conjunctiva, around the equator and behind the limbus of the eye. The fellow eye serves as an untreated control. Over the duration of our study, which was a period of 8 weeks for rats and 12 weeks for mice, IOP remained elevated, as measured regularly by rebound tonometry in conscious animals without topical anesthesia. In both species, the sutured eyes showed electroretinogram features consistent with preferential inner retinal dysfunction. Optical coherence tomography showed selective thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Histology of the rat retina in cross-section found reduced cell density in the ganglion cell layer, but no change in other cellular layers. Staining of flat-mounted mouse retinae with a ganglion cell specific marker (RBPMS) confirmed ganglion cell loss. The circumlimbal suture is a simple, minimally invasive and cost-effective way to induce ocular hypertension that leads to ganglion cell injury in both rats and mice.
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    Towards better estimates of uncorrected presbyopia
    Holden, BA ; Tahhan, N ; Jong, M ; Wilson, DA ; Fricke, TR ; Bourne, R ; Resnikoff, S (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, 2015-10-01)