Reflectance Speckle of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Reveals Axonal Activity

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1638 NW Tenth Avenue, Miami, FL, 33136, United States.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science (Impact Factor: 3.4). 03/2013; 54(4). DOI: 10.1167/iovs.12-11347
Source: PubMed


This study investigated the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) reflectance speckle and tested the hypothesis that temporal change of RNFL speckle reveals axonal dynamic activity.

RNFL reflectance speckle of isolated rat retinas was studied with monochromatic illumination. A series of reflectance images was collected every 5 seconds for approximately 15 minutes. Correlation coefficients (CC) of selected areas between a reference and subsequent images were calculated and plotted as a function of the time intervals between images. An exponential function fit to the time course was used to evaluate temporal change of speckle pattern. To relate temporal change of speckle to axonal activity, in vitro living retina perfused at a normal (34°C) and a lower (24°C) temperature, paraformaldehyde-fixed retina, and retina treated with microtubule depolymerization were used.

RNFL reflectance was not uniform; rather nerve fiber bundles had a speckled texture that changed with time. In normally perfused retina, the time constant of the CC change was 0.56 ± 0.26 minutes. In retinas treated with lower temperature and microtubule depolymerization, the time constants increased by two to four times, indicating that the speckle pattern changed more slowly. The speckled texture in fixed retina was stationary.

Fixation stops axonal activity; treatments with either lower temperature or microtubule depolymerization are known to decrease axonal transport. The results obtained in this study suggest that temporal change of RNFL speckle reveals structural change due to axonal activity. Assessment of RNFL reflectance speckle may offer a new means of evaluating axonal function.

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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this review is to summarize the most common imaging methods currently applied for in vivo assessment of ocular structure in animal models of experimental glaucoma with an emphasis on translational relevance to clinical studies of the human disease. The most common techniques in current use include optical coherence tomography and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. In reviewing the application of these and other imaging modalities to study glaucomatous optic neuropathy, this article is organized into three major sections: 1) imaging the optic nerve head, 2) imaging the retinal nerve fiber layer and 3) imaging retinal ganglion cell soma and dendrites. The article concludes with a brief section on possible future directions. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Experimental Eye Research