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Bailey G. Hannon, Coralia Luna, Andrew J. Feola, Matthew D. Ritch, A. Thomas Read, Sandra S. Stinnett, Harrison Vo, Machelle T. Pardue, Pedro Gonzalez, C. Ross Ethier; Assessment of Visual and Retinal Function Following In Vivo Genipin-Induced Scleral Crosslinking. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(10):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.10.8.
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Genipin has been proposed as a possible neuroprotective therapy in myopia and glaucoma. Here, we aim to determine the effects of prolonged genipin-induced scleral stiffening on visual function.
Eyes from Brown Norway rats were treated in vivo with either a single 15 mM genipin retrobulbar injection or sham retrobulbar injection and were compared to naïve eyes. Intraocular pressure, optomotor response, and electroretinograms were repeatedly measured over 4 weeks following retrobulbar injections to determine visual and retinal function. At 4 weeks, we quantified retinal ganglion cell axon counts. Finally, molecular changes in gene and protein expression were analyzed via real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and proteomics.
Retrobulbar injection of genipin did not affect intraocular pressure (IOP) or retinal function, nor have a sustained impact on visual function. Although genipin-treated eyes had a small decrease in retinal ganglion cell axon counts compared to contralateral sham-treated eyes (−8,558 ± 18,646; mean ± SD), this was not statistically significant (P = 0.206, n = 9). Last, we did not observe any changes in gene or protein expression due to genipin treatment.
Posterior scleral stiffening with a single retrobulbar injection of 15 mM genipin causes no sustained deficits in visual or retinal function or at the molecular level in the retina and sclera. Retinal ganglion cell axon morphology appeared normal.
These results support future in vivo studies to determine the efficacy of genipin-induced posterior scleral stiffening to help treat ocular diseases, like myopia and glaucoma.
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