Retinal Structure & Function Laboratory
- Dr Michael Pianta
- Mr Marcin Falkowski
National & International Collaborators
- Professor Samuel Jacobson, Associate Professor Artur Cideciyan - Scheie Eye Institute, USA
- Professor Barbara Gillam - Psychology, University of New South Wales, Australia
- Dr Colin Clifford - Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia
- Dr Erica Fletcher - Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Melbourne, Australia
Retinal Structure & Function
Much is already known about structural and functional changes caused by retinal disease, but interest has recently turned to the complex interrelationship between these changes. For example, glaucoma leads to death of the retinal ganglion cells seen as structural changes in the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fibre layer, and to changes in visual function as measured with perimetry, but the relationship between these structural and functional measures of glaucomatous damage is incompletely understood.
The Retinal Structure and Function Laboratory (RSFL) aims to increase our understanding of the link between structural and functional measures of damage in disease using complementary approaches that include: full field electroretinography, dark and light adapted perimetry, dark adaptation, and optical coherence tomography. Understanding the relationship between retinal structure and function contributes to our conception of disease processes and allows the development of novel clinical tests that may aid in the management of retinal disease by allowing early detection and/or more effective monitoring.
A clinical test of dark adaptation for age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common progressive disease that is becoming increasingly significant in our ageing population. Given recent developments in the treatment of the disease, there is a need for a functional test that can detect AMD early, that can monitor progression, and that can monitor treatment efficacy in clinical trials. There is evidence that cone dark adaptation is affected early in AMD, together with the normally rapid recovery of cones during dark adaptation, makes the measurement of cone dark adaptation a viable option in the time-constrained clinical setting. This project will aim to develop and verify such a test.
Retinal structure and function in ageing and disease
Retinal disease processes are superimposed on normal ageing changes. Characterising these ageing changes is important to provide a context in which to understand disease. This project aims to characterise the changes in retinal structure and function that occur during ageing and to understand the interplay between these changes and the changes that occur in disease processes. The disease studied could be (but is not limited to): glaucoma, high myopia, age-related macular degeneration.
Selected Recent Publications
Downie, L.E., Pianta, M.J., Vingrys, A.J., Wilkinson-Berka, J.L., & Fletcher, E.L. (2008). AT1 receptor inhibition prevents astrocyte degeneration and restores vascular growth in oxygen-induced retinopathy. Glia, 56 (10), 1076-1090.
Cameron, A.M., Miao, L., Ruseckaite, R., Pianta, M.J., & Lamb, T.D. (2008). Dark adaptation recovery of human rod bipolar cell response kinetics estimated from scotopic b-wave measurements. J Physiol, 586 (Pt 22), 5419-5436.
Pianta, M.J. (2008). A more coherent relationship between optical coherence tomography scans and retinal anatomy. Clin Exp Optom, 91 (3), 327-328; author reply 328-329.
Verma, R., & Pianta, M. J. (2009). The contribution of human cone photoreceptors to the photopic flicker electroretinogram. J Vision, 9(3):9, 1-12, http://journalofvision.org/9/3/9/, doi:10.1167/9.3.9.
Downie, L.E., Vessey, K., Miller, A., Ward, M.M., Pianta, M.J., Vingrys, A.J., Wilkinson-Berka, J.L., & Fletcher, E.L. (2009). Neuronal and glial cell expression of angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) and type 2 (AT2) receptors in the rat retina. Neuroscience, 161 (1), 195-213.
Abbott, C.J., McBrien, N.A., Grunert, U., & Pianta, M.J. (2009). Relationship of the optical coherence tomography signal to underlying retinal histology in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 50 (1), 414-423.