Author(s): Goodyear E, Levin LA. Model systems for experimental studies: retinal ganglion cells in culture. Prog Brain Res. 2008;173:279-84. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(08)01120-5. PMID 18929116
Journal: Progress In Brain Research, Volume 173, 2008
Glaucomatous optic neuropathy is the most common optic nerve disease. The mechanisms by which retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) die in glaucoma are becoming better understood, but are still poorly defined. Elucidating the pathways that connect risk factors for glaucoma (e.g., elevated intraocular pressure) and RGC death is difficult in patients because of ethical and practical constraints. Even in experimental animals, single-cell observations and cell-cell interactions can be tricky to tease apart. For these reasons, it is helpful to use cell and tissue culture models for studying RGCs and other cellular constituents of the optic nerve. This chapter describes the advantages and disadvantages of several commonly used methods for preparing and studying these cultures, including those most relevant to glaucomatous optic neuropathy.