Response of RGC to Optic Nerve Injury
Abnormalities in the processes of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) can lead to cell death and vision loss. One of the signals that may lead to cell death in RGCs is an influx of calcium. Dr. Keirstead has developed a surgical procedure to examine retinal ganglion cells in vivo in an anesthetized mouse. In a previous study funded by NGR, she made progress in developing a method of labeling ganglion cells with a dye that allows her to measure changes in the cells' calcium concentration. Her current goal is to optimize this method of examining changes in calcium in response to nerve cell damage. The further refinement of this method will allow Dr. Keirstead to directly assess the role of calcium in optic nerve damage, and to test the effects of various drugs on this process.