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Title: Retinal plasticity in ageing and glaucoma
Author: Lei, Yuan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 4714
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2008
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This project is to investigate retinal plasticity at the cellular level, i.e. changes of the cell density, cell pattern, cell morphology and the perineuronal net, in the aged and glaucomatous retinas. A multiphoton-DAPI method was developed to study retinal transneuronal degeneration. In glaucoma, the neurodegeneration at the retinal ganglion cell layer (RGCL) initiates a cascade of transneuronal degeneration in the inner nucleus layer (INL) and the outer nucleus layer (ONL). On the other hand, in ageing, neurons in both the RGCL and ONL are markedly affected the neuronal loss in the INL correlates with both layers. This suggests other mechanisms in addition to transneuronal degeneration that contribute to the retinal degeneration in ageing. In glaucoma, the pattern of the neuronal loss in the RGCL was analysed. Supported by the microscopic observation, nearest neighbour analysis (NNA) reveals a combination of diffuse and clustered patterns of neuronal loss. In particular, the diffuse pattern was more common in the central retina whereas the clustered loss was prominent in the mid- peripheral retina. It is very likely that these two patterns of neuronal loss were produced by two different pathologic mechanisms leading to RGC depletion. There appear to be differences between the chondroitin glycosaminoglycan (CS-GAG) staining and the aggrecan core protein staining in the RGCL, INL and the inner plexiform layer. This suggests that some of the GAG attachment regions of aggrecan have been removed in these domains. The major source of CS-GAG staining appears to be from aggrecan because only negative staining for decorin, biglycan, lumican, keratocan and versican was found. Also, negative 5D4 staining suggests that this aggrecan is not or minimally substituted with keratocan sulphate. This study emphasises the importance of the perineuronal net in potentially restricting the recovery and regeneration of neurons in the adult retina.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available