Visual Neuroscience Lab

Lab head: Dr Jin Yu Huang
Location: Bosch Institute (Disciplines of Physiology and Biomedical Science)

The morphological and physiological properties of retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma

Primary supervisor: Jin Huang

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. It is a group of eye diseases where raised intraocular pressure (IOP) occurs over time, leading to visual impairment, and eventually blindness. This raised IOP causes the progressive death of the output nerve cells (neurons) of the eye called retinal ganglion cells. Despite substantial research on this disease, the pathophysiology of glaucoma is not fully understood.

The aim of this project is to understand the pathophysiological changes in the properties of ganglion cells in glaucoma. We will characterise these changes by using a mouse model of glaucoma. We will examine the properties of ganglion cells at different time points to allow comparisons before the development of glaucoma and during glaucoma with peak IOP. The properties of ganglion cells will be characterised by doing electrical recordings using patch clamp techniques and confocal microscopy. We will focus our studies on the large alpha ganglion cells and will characterise their basic physiological responses, which provide information about their health and behaviour such as spontaneous activity, contrast sensitivity and receptive field organisation. Thus, this project will contribute to our understanding of the effects of raised IOP characteristic of glaucoma on ganglion cell properties that ultimately leads to their death.

We published a video article and it provides an overview of the techniques used and some of the projects we are working on.

Discipline: Biomedical Sciences
Co-supervisors: Dario Protti
Keywords: Neurosciences, Vision, Retina