Gene therapy: providing hope for a way to restore visual function after ischemic injury!

 | Post date: 2021/10/28 | 
Neural circuits underlying brain functions are vulnerable to damage, including ischemic injury, leading to neuronal loss and gliosis. Neurons don't regenerate. The brain can sometimes remap its neural pathways enough to restore some visual function after a stroke, but that process is slow, it's inefficient, and for some patients, it never happens at all. A research team at Purdue University investigated the effect of NeuroD1-mediated in vivo direct reprogramming on visual cortical circuit integration and functional recovery in a mouse model of ischemic injury. After performing electrophysiological extracellular recordings and two-photon calcium imaging of reprogrammed cells in vivo and mapping the synaptic connections formed onto these cells ex vivo, they discovered that NeuroD1 reprogrammed neurons were integrated into the cortical microcircuit and acquired direct visual responses. Furthermore, following visual experience, the reprogrammed neurons demonstrated maturation of orientation selectivity and functional connectivity. their results show that NeuroD1-reprogrammed neurons can successfully develop and integrate into the visual cortical circuit leading to vision recovery after ischemic injury.
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