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Exp Eye Res. 2014 Feb;119:88-96. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2013.11.001. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Focal damage to macaque photoreceptors produces persistent visual loss.

Author information

1
Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.
2
Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.
3
Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA; Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.
4
Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA; Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.
5
Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA; Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA. Electronic address: billm@cvs.rochester.edu.

Abstract

Insertion of light-gated channels into inner retina neurons restores neural light responses, light evoked potentials, visual optomotor responses and visually-guided maze behavior in mice blinded by retinal degeneration. This method of vision restoration bypasses damaged outer retina, providing stimulation directly to retinal ganglion cells in inner retina. The approach is similar to that of electronic visual protheses, but may offer some advantages, such as avoidance of complex surgery and direct targeting of many thousands of neurons. However, the promise of this technique for restoring human vision remains uncertain because rodent animal models, in which it has been largely developed, are not ideal for evaluating visual perception. On the other hand, psychophysical vision studies in macaque can be used to evaluate different approaches to vision restoration in humans. Furthermore, it has not been possible to test vision restoration in macaques, the optimal model for human-like vision, because there has been no macaque model of outer retina degeneration. In this study, we describe development of a macaque model of photoreceptor degeneration that can in future studies be used to test restoration of perception by visual prostheses. Our results show that perceptual deficits caused by focal light damage are restricted to locations at which photoreceptors are damaged, that optical coherence tomography (OCT) can be used to track such lesions, and that adaptive optics retinal imaging, which we recently used for in vivo recording of ganglion cell function, can be used in future studies to examine these lesions.

KEYWORDS:

adaptive optics; ganglion cells; light damage; macaque; retina

PMID:
24316158
PMCID:
PMC4329982
DOI:
10.1016/j.exer.2013.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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