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T. Salt, A. Maass, L. Guo, V. Luong, F.C. Schlichtenbrede, R.R. Ali, F.W. Fitzke, M.F. Cordeiro; Retinal Ganglion Cell Apoptosis and Loss Assessed in vivo Using the ERG . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):3754.
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Purpose: Recent evidence suggests that selective loss of the positive scotopic threshold response (pSTR) is indicative of selective retinal ganglion cell (RGC) dysfunction. We investigated the scotopic full–field ERGs in rat models of acute (staurosporine–induced, SSP) and chronic (ocular hypertensive, OHT) RGC apoptosis. Methods: Models of chronic OHT (n=14) and a newly–developed model of SSP–induced RGC apoptosis (n=15), as previously described, were assessed whilst under anaesthesia. SSP animals were treated in one eye only with SSP (0, 0.5, 1 and 2 nmol) and uniocular OHT rats were assessed 3 months after elevated IOP was induced. Before ERG recordings, all animals were dark adapted overnight. Scotopic ERG stimuli were brief white flashes (–4 to 3 log cd s m–2). Eyes were then imaged with an adapted confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (cSLO) following alexa fluor 488–labeled annexin 5 administration, to evaluate apoptosis, as previously described. Animals were killed soon after imaging and enucleated eyes analysed histologically. Results: Raised IOP in OHT animals was associated with a significant reduction in the pSTR, which corresponded to the level of RGC apoptosis induced demonstrated both in vivo and histologically. This pattern was also observed in eyes with SSP treatment with increasing RGC apoptosis and RGC loss (which was does–related) being associated with a greater reduction in pSTR. Conclusions: Our findings confirm that the pSTR is a good objective measurement of RGC function, and correlates closely with structural in vivo and histological assessment of RGC apoptosis and loss.
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