Striatech OptoDrum

Journal Club

We host a series of online journal clubs, highlighting the use and the applications of our OptoDrum device. Scientists present their projects and new data, and you can learn about the latest developments in the field. We always schedule time for Q&A at the end of the presentation so that you can ask your questions and discuss the findings.

Register below to attend our Journal Club Series.

Next online Journal Club

The role of Nogo-A in visual deficits induced by retinal injury.

Julius Baya Mdzomba, PhD - Université Laval
Cover Baya Paper

Jan 28th, 2021


7:00 a.m. (US, West coast)
10:00 a.m. (US, East coast)
15:00 (UTC)
16:00 (Germany)
24:00 (Seoul, Tokyo)

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The membrane protein Nogo-A is a potent inhibitor of neuronal growth. After injury, blockade of Nogo-A can support regeneration and functional recovery. For example, in the visual system, the deleterious effects of retinal ischemia on the neuronal survival and function of juvenile mice can be reduced by blocking Nogo-A. In the current study, the aim was to investigate the role of Nogo-A in visual impairments induced by NMDA excitotoxicity in the adult mouse. N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) over-activation is involved in major diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.

Different levels of retinal injury were induced by intravitreal injection of 0.5 to 40 nmol of NMDA. Nogo-A’s function was blocked by using either knock-out (KO) mice or by intraviteally injecting a function-blocking antibody (11C7) two days after NMDA injection. Effects were quantified by following visual function with the optomotor reflex (OMR) and electroretinogram (ERG) recordings, by monitoring visual cortex activity through local field potential (LFP) recording, and by analysing cell survival with immunofluorescence on retinal flat mounts.

Low concentrations of NMDA produced damage limited to the ganglion cell layer (GCL), consisting of a drop of ~20% in visual acuity and a ~30% ganglion cell (GC) loss. Higher concentrations of NMDA resulted in generalized damage to the whole retina: GC loss reached ~80%, visual acuity dropped by ~80% and ERG b-wave amplitudes decreased by half. Nogo-A KO mice, and mice injected with 11C7 intravitreally, showed better functional recovery after NMDA insults. Reduced latency of LFP suggested enhanced visual cortex function after Nogo-A inactivation compared to conrol. However, 11C7 did not significantly influence RGC survival and the ERG response.

Our data suggest that Nogo-A is implicated in the emergence of visual deficits after retinal injury. Antibody-based neutralization of Nogo-A may stimulate visual recovery in retinal diseases involving excitotoxic cell death such as diabetic retinopathy.

Key Topics

  • Nogo-A expression is upregulated in human ocular pathologies
  • Effects of Nogo-A on neuroinflammation
  • Different concentrations of NMDA induce different types of injury and visual deficits.
  • Systemic as well as acute and localised neutralisation of Nogo-A improves visual functions after retinal injury.

Learning Objectives

This presentation aims to show the link between Nogo-A and visual deficits aggravation after retinal injury.  Nogo-A is implicated in many processes that would exacerbate any visual deficits after an ocular pathology. Neutralization of Nogo-A is a promising novel therapeutic approach.

Background reading

Nogo-A-targeting antibody promotes visual recovery and inhibits neuroinflammation after retinal injury. Baya Mdzomba J, Joly S, Rodriguez L, Dirani A, Lassiaz P, Behar-Cohen F, Pernet V. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Feb 6;11(2):101.
doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-2302-x.

Nogo-A inactivation improves visual plasticity and recovery after retinal injury. Mdzomba JB, Jordi N, Rodriguez L, Joly S, Bretzner F, Pernet V. Cell Death Dis. 2018 Jun 27;9(7):727.
doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0780-x.

About the speaker

Julius Baya Mdzomba

Julius Baya Mdzomba, PhD

Research Associate
Department of Molecular Medicine, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec - Université Laval

Universite Laval

Julius received his BSc in Cellular Biology in Marsaille, and later specialized in immunological questions of neurodevelopment for his MSc. He has recently received his PhD in Neurobiology from Laval University in Quebec, for his work on the role of Nogo-A in visual deficits, in the lab of Vincent Pernet.

Register now

Journal Club: The role of Nogo-A in visual deficits induced by retinal injury (Jan 28, 2021)

    I already use optomotor measurementsI want to do optomotor measurements in the future

    Previous online Journal Club

    Visual Acuity as a Relevant Phenotype in Mouse Models of Rare Disease

    Zoë Bichler, PhD - The Jackson Laboratory
    Maximiliano Presa, PhD - The Jackson Laboratory

    Live Date was Oct 8th, 2020

    Missed the live date?

    Don't worry!
    Register now and view the recording of the presentation.

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    The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is integrating mouse genetics and human genomics to decipher the genetic and molecular causes of human health and disease. JAX supports the global biomedical research community by developping and sharing research, tools and solutions, data resources, and more than 11,000 specialized mouse models.

    In today's presentation, we will briefly introduce the Center for Biometric Analysis (CBA), which includes several phenotyping cores, and in particular the Neurobehavior Phenotyping Core (NBP). We show how we have validated visual acuity measurements at the NBP. We will present two projects where visual acuity measurements have been valuable for characterizing progression in rare diseases:

    • Use of visual acuity test in a mouse model for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT2a), a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy of the peripheral nervous system.
    • Visual acuity measurements in mice to evaluate a gene therapy for Multiple Sulfatase Deficiency (MSD), a lysosomal storage disease.

    Key Topics

    • Validation of visual acuity measurements
    • Applications:
      • Characterization of new mouse models for human diseases
      • Preclinical evaluation of gene therapies

    Learning Objectives

    • Understand how JAX validates tests, analyzes data and offers services to researchers.
    • Practical applications of visual acuity testing as reliable method for retinopathy assessments.

    About the speakers


    Zoë Bichler, PhD

    Senior Manager
    Head of the Neurobehavioral Phenotyping Core at the Center for Biometric Analysis

    The Jackson Laboratory

    The Jackson Laboratory

    My research interests relate to understanding the behavioral and biochemical characteristics of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, as a strategy to discover therapeutic agents and improve medical care. During my career, I have developed a strong expertise in pre-clinical studies, establishing, running, troubleshooting and teaching neurobehavioral assays, as well as advising on the best experimental design, and developing new technical setups. Trained in the fields of neuroscience, immunology, cardiology and metabolism, including microbiome research, I favor a multidisciplinary approach to solving scientific problems.

    Maximiliano Presa, PhD

    Technology and Resource Development Scientist
    The Jackson Laboratory

    The Jackson Laboratory

    My research is focused in the development and characterization of new mouse models for human diseases. We are applying cutting-edge CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing technology for a precise engineering of the mouse genome with the goal of reproducing human clinical alleles (knock in and knock out models).  Together with the generation of transgenic mouse models expressing human gene variants, we are expanding the genetic tools available for the scientific community in areas like ALS, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, lysosomal storage diseases and several others rare disorders. Our validation process starts with a general molecular analysis based on gene expression and protein analysis as well as molecular markers relevant to the disease. The process is followed for a rigorous biometric analysis where we look for survival, growth and behavioral phenotypes. We also complement our analysis with electrophysiology, in vivo imaging and histopathology assessments. Our team is highly specialized in downstream in vivo applications for pre-clinical testing of new compounds and treatments. We have succeeded in pre-clinical gene therapy studies for Charcot-Marie-Tooth-type-4J and currently ongoing gene therapy for multiple sulfatase deficiency (MSD). Thus, we are contributing to the research community with better mouse models and setting new platforms for future development of more precise therapeutic strategies.

    Register now

    Journal Club: Visual Acuity as a Relevant Phenotype in Mouse Models of Rare Disease (Oct 8, 2020)

      I already use optomotor measurementsI want to do optomotor measurements in the future