Diabetic retinopathy and retinal metabolism
Diabetes is a progressive disease characterized by hyperglycemia that disrupts the microvasculature with devastating consequences. Damage to the eye vasculature causes leakage and a ‘breakdown’ of the blood-brain barrier with loss of vision. Current diabetes research with mammalian models focuses on cellular/molecular pathologies and not their relationship to loss of vision. Our goal is to bridge this gap by investigating the link between retinal function and vision of diabetic mice. Detection of visual deficits prior to the appearance clinical signs of diabetic retinopathy may result in improved long term prognosis.
Currently, we are determining the progressive loss of vision in diabetic mouse using a battery of tests including behavioral (optomotor), histological, and metabolic assays as well as ERG recordings. Using diabetic mouse retinal slices and voltage-clamp techniques we track functional losses along specific visual pathways.