Neural Reprogramming in Retinal Degeneration

We have a new paper in IOVS on how retinas exhibit functional expression changes of glutamatergic receptors in late-stage retinal degeneration. This paper further fleshes out the changes that occur in retinal degenerations specifically in the bipolar cell glutamate receptor expression profiles. Specifically, we looked at those profiles that are permanently modified in bipolar cells when they lose bipolar cell glutamate receptor expression due to retraction of the inputs of these cells, the dendrites. When glutamate receptors are lost, the cells become unable to signal effectively perhaps driving further changes downstream in retinal circuits.

In retinal diseases that exhibit focal cone sparing, there seems to be a preservation of ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluR) in nearby bipolar cells which may indicate some possibility of vision rescue late in degeneration, but as seems to be the building story, if we hope to intervene in retinal vision loss, we will have to do so *early* on in the course of the disease. We also observed in this paper an instance of human retinitis pigmentosa where rod bipolar cell dendrites appear to switch gene expression and become, perhaps cone bipolar cells…

3 Replies to “Neural Reprogramming in Retinal Degeneration”

  1. Thanks for your work, Dr Jones. I am 43 with R.P. and still have good central vision. If I could be of assistance in your studies I would like to help. Thanks again. Randy B. Central Florida

  2. Randy,

    Many, many thanks. However, I am not engaged in any clinically oriented research that is ready for patient involvement right now. I will let you know if any of our work progresses to the point of clinical trials. I will say that we have at least one project that is in the early pre-clinical stages.

    Best regards,


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