Lisa Ostrin graduated from the University of Houston College of Optometry with an OD and PhD in physiological optics, where she studied accommodative physiology. During her graduate training, she became interested in retinal physiology, which led her to post-doctoral training with Gislin Dagnelie at Johns Hopkins University. There, she used electrophysiology to evaluate retinal changes in legally blind patients with retinal prostheses, after which she joined the UC Berkeley Clinician Scientist Training Program to further her career goal of an academic clinician scientist, working under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Wildsoet. Myopia (nearsightedness) refers to the condition in which light rays from distant objects come to focus in front of the retina, resulting in blurred retinal images. Myopia is associated with retinal detachment, macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma, with high myopia being one of the leading causes of blindness. The prevalence of myopia has been increasing, and is considered epidemic in some populations. In the proposed research program, a relatively new animal model of human myopia, the guinea pig, will be used to further characterize the structural and functional changes in lens-induced myopia. This proposal describes a set of studies designed to evaluate the hypothesis that the higher than normal prevalence of glaucoma in myopic eyes reflects alteration in structure and function secondary to myopic eye growth. Changes in retinal sensitivity, will be assessed both behaviorally, using an optokinetic instrument, and physiologically, using targeted electroretinogram protocols. Advanced high resolution in vivo imaging techniques to evaluate changes at the cellular level in the retina, choroid and lamina cribrosa, and these studies will be complemented by ultrastructural studies of the lamina cribrosa of the deep optic nerve head, using electron microscopy. To specifically assess whether myopic eyes are more susceptible to glaucoma, IOP will be elevated in normal and myopic eyes using intracameral injections of microbeads (the Microbead Occlusion Model), and its effects on structure and function evaluated. In glaucoma, the retina thins, retinal sensitivity is reduced, and the lamina cribrosa and parapapillary sclera undergoes structural deformity. Normal and myopic eyes will be evaluated as described above, and the degree of glaucomatous damage will be analyzed in terms of axial length and refractive error. This project represents the first attempt to induce glaucoma in a myopic animal model and to evaluate in the same eyes, both structures and functions known to be affected in these two disease processes. It will provide opportunity to look for functional correlates of structural changes. Apart from providing new insights into these conditions, new approaches to their prevention and treatment are plausible outcomes. This project will be conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Wildsoet who has extensive knowledge in the field of emmetropization and myopic eye growth, with training in Optometry and pharmacology. Three senior vision scientists have also agreed to serve as consultants on aspects of this work: 1) Dr. Laura Frishman (Univ. Houston), an expert in the electroretinography, who will assist in refining protocols for isolating the inner retinal pathways of the guinea pig, 2) Dr. Austin Roorda (Univ. Cal. Berkeley), who has agreed to give guidance on retinal imaging and image analysis, and 3) Dr. Ronald Harwerth (Univ. Houston), who will provide advice in refining the protocol for the experimental glaucoma model.

Public Health Relevance

The prevalence of myopia has been increasing, and is considered epidemic in some populations. High myopia can lead to blindness, and is associated with increased risk of glaucoma. This proposal aims to describe the structural and functional ocular changes that occur in lens induced myopia and look for correlations with changes occurring in an elevated IOP model of glaucoma. Furthermore, we will investigate the hypothesis that myopic eyes are more susceptible to glaucomatous damage.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) (K08)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (10))
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Agarwal, Neeraj
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University of California Berkeley
Schools of Optometry/Ophthalmol
United States
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Ostrin, Lisa A; Garcia, Mariana B; Choh, Vivian et al. (2014) Pharmacologically stimulated pupil and accommodative changes in Guinea pigs. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 55:5456-65