In Vitro and In Vivo Methods for Studying Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival and Optic Nerve Regeneration. Methods Mol Biol 2018;1695:187-205.Abstract.
Glaucoma is marked by a progressive degeneration of the optic nerve and delayed loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the projection neurons of the eye. Because RGCs are not replaced and because surviving RGCs cannot regenerate their axons, the visual loss in glaucoma is largely irreversible. Here, we describe methods to evaluate treatments that may be beneficial for treating glaucoma using in vitro cell culture models (immunopanning to isolate neonatal RGCs, dissociated mature retinal neurons, retinal explants) and in vivo models that test potential treatments or investigate underlying molecular mechanisms in an intact system. Potentially, use of these models can help investigators continue to improve treatments to preserve RGCs and restore visual function in patients with glaucoma.