Molecular, anatomical and functional changes in the retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve crush in mice

Masayoshi Yukita, Shigeki Machida, Koji M. Nishiguchi, Satoru Tsuda, Yu Yokoyama, Masayuki Yasuda, Kazuichi Maruyama, Toru Nakazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Results: The expression of Brn3a and Brn3b began to significantly decrease on day 1 and day 2, respectively (P < 0.01). The amplitude of the pSTR underwent rapid, significant deterioration on day 3, after which it fell gradually (P < 0.01), while the a- and b-wave amplitudes remained unchanged throughout the experiment. Inner retinal thickness gradually decreased, with the most significant reduction on day 10 (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Decrease in pSTR likely reflected the early loss of RGC function after ONC and that declining expression of RGC-specific genes preceded anatomical and functional changes in the RGCs.

Purpose: Optic nerve crush (ONC) and subsequent axonal damage can be used in rodents to study the mechanism of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration. Here, we examined electroretinograms (ERGs) in post-ONC mice to investigate changes in the positive scotopic threshold response (pSTR). We then compared these changes with molecular and morphological changes to identify early objective biomarkers of RGC dysfunction.

Methods: Fifty 12-week-old C57BL/6 mice were included. ONC was used to induce axonal injury in the right eye of each animal, with the left eye used as a control. The expression of the RGC markers Brn3a and Brn3b was measured on days 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 after ONC with quantitative real-time PCR. ERGs were recorded under dark adaptation with the stimulus intensity increasing from −6.2 to 0.43 log cd-s/m2 on days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 after ONC. The pSTR, a- and b-wave amplitudes were measured. Inner retinal thickness around the optic nerve head was measured with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography on days 0, 2, 5, 7 and 10 after ONC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalDocumenta Ophthalmologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar 7


  • Axonal injury
  • Electroretinogram
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal ganglion cell
  • Scotopic threshold response


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular, anatomical and functional changes in the retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve crush in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this