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Morphological Analysis of Retinal Neurons in Wild Type and Glaucomatous Mice

Presenters Name: 
Joanna Moy
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
Xiaorong Liu
Secondary Research Mentor: 
Jingyi Gao
12:30 - 1:45
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:30pm to 1:45pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, which is often associated with high intraocular pressure (IOP). Currently, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world; however, there are little to no early symptoms that are easily recognizable by the patient. Therefore, glaucoma is not noticed until a significant portion of retinal ganglion cells are already lost and treatment is limited to reducing IOP to slow down the disease’s progress. The Schlemm’s canal (SC) is a lymphatic-like vessel that drains aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye. Impairment of the Schlemm’s canal, and subsequent inadequate drainage of aqueous humor results in high IOP. In previous studies, it was discovered that the angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1) signaling molecule plays a major role in SC development; a deletion of Angpt1 results in severely impaired SC functionality and increased IOP. In this study, the morphology between wild type and Angpt1 conditional knockout (cKO) mice models was investigated and compared. RGC markers, such as RBPMS and melanopsin antibodies, were utilized to examine cell loss in Angpt1 cKO and control mice. The immunostaining displayed an increase in retinal ganglion cell loss in Angpt-1 cKO mice as compared to the control mice. The observations from this study highlight the importance of Angpt-1 and its signaling ligands, providing a prospective target for glaucoma therapeutic treatment.