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Sujata Rao, David R Copenhagen, Richard A Lang; Light and melanopsin regulated eye development. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5995.
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To understand if light evoked melanopsin signaling regulates eye development by controlling the expression of the activity dependent neurotrophins.
We have used mouse genetics along with biochemical and molecular techniques to identify the signaling pathways and downstream action of BDNFregulated by light and melanopsin.
We previously demonstrated that both the regression of the fetal hyaloid vasculature and the formation of the retinal vasculature is regulated by light activation of melanopsin expressing retinal neurons We also demonstrated that the light- melanopsin pathway regulates neuron numbers, limits hypoxia and thus the retinal expression of vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF). In an attempt to understand how light and melanopsin regulates eye development we investigated the role of BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) an activity dependent neurotrophin and have preliminary data suggesting that BDNF expression is down regulated by light and melanopsin. Deletion of BDNF from the retina results in persistent hyaloid vasculature and a retardation in retinal angiogenesis along with changes in neuron numbers. We will provide further evidence to demonstrate that BDNF expression is regulated by the light-melanopsin pathway.
Since light can influence many aspects of retinal development as well as physiology, understanding the molecular determinants of this pathway could advance our ability to use light as a prophylactic treatment for eye diseases.
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