April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Population Of Melanopsin-expressing Retinal Ganglion Cells In Aging Wildtype And Rodless/coneless Mice: A Detailed Quantitative And Topographical Analysis
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Arturo Ortin-Martinez
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
    Research Unit. Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca., Fundación para la Formación en Investigación Sanitarias de la Región de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  • Diego García-Ayuso
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
  • F Javier Valiente-Soriano
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
  • Manuel Jímenez-López
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
  • María P. Villegas-Pérez
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
  • Marta Agudo-Barriuso
    Research Unit. Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca., Fundación para la Formación en Investigación Sanitarias de la Región de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  • Pete Coffey
    Ocular Biology and Therapeutics., UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, United Kingdom
  • Anthony A. Vugler
    Ocular Biology and Therapeutics., UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, United Kingdom
  • Manuel Vidal-Sanz
    Ophthalmology, University of Murcia, Espinardo (Murcia), Spain
  • Ma'ayam Semo
    Ocular Biology and Therapeutics., UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Arturo Ortin-Martinez, None; Diego García-Ayuso, None; F Javier Valiente-Soriano, None; Manuel Jímenez-López, None; María P. Villegas-Pérez, None; Marta Agudo-Barriuso, None; Pete Coffey, None; Anthony A. Vugler, None; Manuel Vidal-Sanz, None; Ma'ayam Semo, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  The London Project to Cure Blindness. Fundación Séneca 04446/GERM/07; Spanish Ministry of Education and Science SAF 2009-10385; ISCIII-FEDER FIS PIO06/0780; RD07/0062/0001; PI07/0225; PI10/00187, PI10
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 3466. doi:
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      Arturo Ortin-Martinez, Diego García-Ayuso, F Javier Valiente-Soriano, Manuel Jímenez-López, María P. Villegas-Pérez, Marta Agudo-Barriuso, Pete Coffey, Anthony A. Vugler, Manuel Vidal-Sanz, Ma'ayam Semo; Population Of Melanopsin-expressing Retinal Ganglion Cells In Aging Wildtype And Rodless/coneless Mice: A Detailed Quantitative And Topographical Analysis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3466.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: : Outer retinal degeneration in the rd/rd mouse model leads to retinal ganglion cell loss (at ~1 yr of age). However old mice (>2 yrs) lacking both rods and cones (rd/rd cl) and wildtypes maintain melanopsin-mediated responses to light. The density of melanopsin cells declines with advanced age in both wildtypes and rd/rd cl independently of retinal degeneration. Here we analyse the total numbers and the distribution of intrinsically photosensitive melanopsin positive ganglion cells in the retina during advanced aging (1-2.5 years) in wildtype mice and compare it to aging congenic rd/rd cl mice.

Methods: : Mice were sacrificed at 1, 1.5 and 2.5 yrs of age (n=3-4 per group), retinae dissected as flatmounts, and melanopsin detected with immuno-fluorescence, some retinae were also co-labelled with a general ganglion cell marker Brn3a. Detailed maps of the retina were obtained using a Zeiss LSM 710 confocal microscope and the whole population of melanopsin positive cells was quantified.

Results: : Melanopsin cells were found distributed across the retinae at all ages and in all genotypes and were not found to be Brn3a positive. At 1 yr the wildtypes and rd/rd cl have similar total numbers of melanopsin cells, however by 1.5 yrs the rd/rd cl has fewer cells in comparison to age-matched wildtypes (P<0.05). By 2.5 yrs the wildtypes have fewer melanopsin cells than they did at 1 yr with counts at a similar level to the rd/rd cl at 1.5 yrs.

Conclusions: : Outer retinal degeneration causes the melanopsin cell population to decrease at a faster rate however advanced aging in the wildtype leads to a similar loss of melanopsin positive cells. The maintenance of relatively un-attenuated irradiance detection responses into old age despite this reduction suggests there may be some compensatory plasticity enhancing signaling of the melanopsin system in old age.

Keywords: ganglion cells • retina • visual cortex 
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