Monday, October 17, 2016, 12:00– 1:30 pm, in 489 Minor Hall

Mechanisms of Astrocyte Reactivity and the Regulation of Retinal Parainflammation

presented by

Jeremy Sivak, PhD
Affiliation: University Health Network with the University of Toronto


Host: Austin Roorda

Abstract: Reactive gliosis is an early pathological feature common to nearly all neurodegenerative diseases, yet its regulation and impact remain poorly understood. In the healthy inner retina and optic nerve head, astrocytes and related Müller glia maintain a critical homeostatic and oxidative balance through interactions with neighbouring neurons and blood vessels. After stress or injury these astrocytes undergo rapid parainflammatory activation, accompanied by characteristic changes in intermediate filaments and morphology, altered cytokine secretions, antioxidant activity, and vasoregulation. We have been studying this system to investigate the molecular mechanisms regulating these responses and their impact on the inner retina, and to therapeutically target specific components of the reactive switch.

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