Validation of light reactivity restoration in degenerated mouse retinas by optogenetics

Validation of light reactivity restoration in degenerated mouse retinas by optogenetics
optogenetics; vision restoration; retinal prosthesis
Issue Date
The 7th Asian Pacific Conference on Biomechanics
Age-related macular degeneration(AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa(RP) are typical degenerative diseases of retina which cause blindness. Although the number of AMD and RP patients is exponentially increasing with the trend of population ageing, there is no cure for these diseases. Therefore, we suggest the ‘optogenetic vision restoration’ method for the patients with retinal degeneration. By transfecting the gene for ChR2, a blue light-gated cation channel, into the remaining cells of the degenerated retina, the retina will be able to regain the light reactivity which leads to vision restoration.(1) To validate the idea, the retinas of the FVB mouse having retinal degeneration were transfected with AAV vector containing ChR2-gene. After 2 weeks post-transfection, the transfected retinas and untreated control retinas were explanted and their neural spike signals were recorded on the micro-electrode array system (MultiChannel Systems). It was found that the number of neural spikes on illuminated phase(ON phase) obviously increased for the ChR2-transfected retina samples. The result shows a marked increase from that of the control samples and confirms a possibility of the ‘optogenetic vision restoration’.
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