The effect of photoreceptor degeneration on ganglion cell morphology
AuthorO'Brien, E. E.; Greferath, U.; Fletcher, E. L.
Source TitleThe Journal of Comparative Neurology
AffiliationAnatomy and Neuroscience
Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsO'Brien, E. E., Greferath, U., & Fletcher, E. L. (2014). The effect of photoreceptor degeneration on ganglion cell morphology. The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 522(5), 1155-1170.
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
NHMRC Grant codeNHMRC/1021042
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals Inc.
The research outputs in this collection have been funded in whole or in part by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Retinitis pigmentosa refers to a family of inherited photoreceptor degenerations resulting in blindness. Well after the total loss of photoreceptors, neurons of the inner retina are known to undergo plastic changes. Here, we have investigated in detail, whether ganglion cells are altered at late stages of degeneration, well after the total loss of photoreceptors. We used mice, rd1-Thy1, that carry a mutation in the β subunit of phosphodiesterase 6 and a fluorescent protein that labels a subset of ganglion cells and B6-Thy1 control mice. Retinal wholemounts from mice aged 3 to 11 months were processed for immunohistochemistry and analysed. Ganglion cells were classified based on soma area, dendritic field size and branching of dendrites. The dendritic fields of some ganglion cells were further analysed for their length, area and quantity of branching points. There was a decrease in size and level of branching of A2, B1 and D type ganglion cells in the degenerated retina at 11 months of age. In contrast, C1 ganglion cells remained unchanged. In addition, there was a shift in the proportion of ganglion cells ramifying in the different layers of the inner plexiform layer. Careful analysis of the dendrites of ganglions revealed some projecting to new, more distal regions of the inner plexiform layer. We propose these changes in ganglion cell morphology could impact the function of individual cells as well as the retinal circuitry in the degenerated retina.
Keywordsganglion cell; Retinitis Pigmentosa; plasticity; retina; inner plexiform layer
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