Acute Zonal Occult Outer Reinopathy (AZOOR)

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This photo (enlarged image) shows peripheral vasculitis in a patient with Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy (AZOOR).

Five images were taken in each eye and composited together to show the peripheral changes taking place in the mid arterivenous phase of the fluorescein angiogram.

This image was made by James Gilman of the Moran Eye Center using a 102 degree non-contact wide angle lens on a Heidelberg Spectralis.

 

 

Abstract Human Retina

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This image of ganglion cellsMüller cells and starburst amacrine cells in the human retina is from a patient suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP).  This disease this patient suffered from slowly causes people affected with this disease to go blind and is a constant reminder to me of why we engage in our research.

For some, this is a pretty, though abstract image created through a set of technologies called computational molecular phenotyping (CMP).   The colors in this image come from antibodies labeling taurineglutamine and glutamate, all small molecular species that reveal metabolic states in these tissues.

For us, these images reveal variation in cell types as well as abnormalities in other kinds of cells that presage retinal stress and the cellular responses that alter the retina in ways that both cause blindness and make it difficult to rescue vision loss.  We also see the beginnings of changes in the circuitry of the retina that forever will alter the way that diseased retinas process information.

Image courtesy of Bryan William Jones, Ph.D. and originally appeared here.

Seminar: Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, Towards Disentangling Adult Spinal Neural Circuits

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The Marclab Connectomics Group presents Dr. Eduardo Rosa-Molinar who will deliver a seminar at the Moran Eye Center tomorrow at 4pm on October 8th, 2013 entitled Towards Disentangling Adult Spinal Neural Circuits.  His talk will discuss the neurobiology of ultrafast spinal motor networks and imaging networks with field ion beam milling connectomics.

What does this have to do with vision?  Connectomics is the field that is allowing us to disentangle the complex network diagrams involved in neural computation and vision.  The Marclab has been the only funded connectomics group in the NEI exploring this work for several years and for the past several months, there has been dialogue with Dr. Rosa-Molinar that has been productive.  We look forward to what he has to stay about his science and the approach he takes towards elucidating structure, function and networks.

Wavelengths Of Light From Our Sun

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The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has assembled a high resolution image showing the spectrum of our Sun from 296 to 1300nm.  Its interesting to note that visual systems on planet Earth have evolved to detect wavelengths of light given off by our sun and those wavelengths are solar specific.  Other stars radiate different wavelengths, but I’d suspect that given the place in the electromagnetic spectrum, rhodopsin or rhodopsin like molecules respond to, organisms evolving on other theoretical planets would likely respond to similar spectra.  Notably, while the sun appears to emit light in every color, the most prominent emission appears in yellow-green.  This is reflected in the sensitivity of photoreceptors with rhodopsin in the blue green spectrum with a peak around 500nm.  Cone opsins also are tuned to this portion of the spectrum with the “blue” cones responding around 420nm and M-cones around 530nm with L-cones around 560nm.

 

Interesting: Gene Regulator, Onecut1 Important To Retinal Development And Integrity

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This paper, Onecut1 Is Essential for Horizontal Cell Genesis and Retinal Integrity in the Journal of Neuroscience by authors Fuguo Wu, Renzhong Li, Yumiko Umino, Tadeusz J. Kaczynski, Darshan Sapkota, Shengguo Li, Mengqing Xiang, Steven J. Fliesler, David M. Sherry, Maureen Gannon, Eduardo Solessio, and Xiuqian Mu describes the gene regulator Onecut1 as being the key to healthy retinal development and good vision in adulthood.

Essentially, Onecut1 is critical for the formation of horizontal cells, but of fundamental importance to retinal degenerative research, this work implies that horizontal cells might be necessary for the survival of photoreceptor cells.  Of course we have known for some years that horizontal cells are some of the very first cells to respond to retinal degeneration by extensively remodeling, but this is an interesting result that suggests a direct dependence of photoreceptors on the horizontal cells themselves for survival.