News & Impact

You are here

Leveraging Optogenetic-Based Neurovascular Circuit Characterization for Repair.

Ivanova E, Yee CW, Sagdullaev BT.
Year Published: 
Neurotherapeutics. 2016 Apr;13(2):341-7. doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0419-x. Review.
PMID:26758692 | PMCID:PMC4824015
Abstract on PubMed


Optogenetic techniques are a powerful tool for determining the role of individual functional components within complex neural circuits. By genetically targeting specific cell types, neural mechanisms can be actively manipulated to gain a better understanding of their origin and function, both in health and disease. The potential of optogenetics is not limited to answering biological questions, as it is also a promising therapeutic approach for neurological diseases. An important prerequisite for this approach is to have an identified target with a uniquely defined role within a given neural circuit. Here, we examine the retinal neurovascular unit, a circuit that incorporates neurons and vascular cells to control blood flow in the retina. We highlight the role of a specific cell type, the cholinergic amacrine cell, in modulating vascular cells, and demonstrate how this can be targeted and controlled with optogenetics. A better understanding of these mechanisms will not only extend our understanding of neurovascular interactions in the brain, but ultimately may also provide new targets to treat vision loss in a variety of retinal diseases.

Conditions & Recovery

Vision Recovery icon
See better.
Retinal Degenerative Diseases icon
These will double by 2050.

Research Methods