Experimental Ophthalmology

Research group leader

Staff

  • Laura Jahnke, M.Sc.

  • Souska Sophie Zandi, MD

  • Yuebing Li, MMed.

Research focuses

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Stem & progenitor cell research
  • Retinal regeneration
  • Endogenous repair mechanisms
  • Fibrosis

Methods

  • Stem cell differentiation in vitro and in vivo
  • Microsurgery, laser treatment and optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Animal models with specific retinal degenerations
  • Visual function measurement

Short description

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the industrialized world for people over 65 years old. Although the pathogenesis of AMD is still unclear, it likely has multifactorial causes. It is known that, in AMD, the retinal pigment layer that lies directly beneath the retina, displays major alterations. In addition, oxidative changes can be detected in photoreceptors.

Therefore, the experimental research at the Dept. of Ophthalmology focuses on developing new therapeutic strategies. Both the stem cell-based cell replacement therapy and endogenous neuroregeneration are of particular interest. In animal models with pharmacologically or laser induced retinal degeneration, specific restoration of visual functions are investigated. In order to quantify the outcome of the experimental manipulations electrophysiological and behavioral tests are employed. The long-term goal is to replace damaged retinal cells with new ones, thus preserving eyesight or, at minimum, slowing the disease progression.

Short publication list

for comprehensive publication list click here

  • Conedera FM, Quintela Pousa AM, Mercader N, Tschopp M, Enzmann V: The TGFβ / Notch axis facilitates Müller cell-to-epithelial transition to ultimately form a chronic glial scar. Mol Neurodegener. 16(1):69, 2021.
  • Enzbrenner A, Zulliger R, Biber J, Quintela Pousa AM, Schäfer N, Stucki C, Giroud N, Berrera M, Kortvely E, Schmucki R, Badi L, Grosche A, Pauly D, Enzmann V: Sodium iodate-induced degeneration results in local complement changes and inflammatory processes in murine retina. Int J Mol Sci. 22(17):9218, 2021.
  • Conedera FM, Quintela Pousa AM, Presby DM, Mercader N, Enzmann V, Tschopp M: Diverse signaling by TGFβ isoforms in response to focal injury is associated with either retinal regeneration or reactive gliosis. Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. 41(1): 43-62, 2021
  • Conedera FM, Quintela Pousa AM, Presby DM, Mercader N, Enzmann V, Tschopp M: Diverse signaling by TGFβisoforms in response to focal injury is associated with either retinal regeneration or reactive gliosis. Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. 41(1):43-62, 2021.
  • Trepp C, Quintela Pousa AM, Enzmann V: Transcriptome Analysis Did Not Show Endogenous Stem Cell Characteristics in Murine Lgr5+ Retinal Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 20(14):E3547, 2019.
  • Conedera F, Quintela Pousa AM, Tschopp M, Mercader N, Enzmann V: Retinal microglia signaling affects Müller cell behavior in the zebrafish following laser injury induction. Glia. 67(6):1150-1166, 2019.
  • Parisi L, Fuhrer R, Zinkernagel M, Enzmann V: Ranibizumab and bevacizumab but not aflibercept inhibit proliferation of primary human retinal pigment epithelium in vitro. Ophthalmologica. 241(3):137-142, 2019.
  • Conedera FM, Arendt P, Trepp C, Tschopp M, Enzmann V: Müller Glial Cell Activation in a Laser-Induced Retinal Degeneration and Regeneration Model in Zebrafish. J Vis Exp.  128:e56249, 2017.
  • Enzmann V, Lecaudé S, Kruschinski A, Vater A: CXCL12/SDF-1-dependent retinal migration of endogenous bone marrow-derived stem cells improves visual function after pharmacologically induced retinal degeneration.Stem Cell Rev 13(2):278-286, 2017.