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BRUERA, Manuel

CONICET PhD fellow
Director: Ana Maria Contín

PhD Thesis Topic

Study of retinal neurodegeneration promoted by the excess of exposure to LED light
The retina, part of the central nervous system, is a light sensitive tissue responsible for the visual information processing that we perceive from environment.
It has been shown that light excess causes the death of photoreceptor cells (PC), retinal neurons specialized in convert the light stimuli into nerve impulses; however, the molecular mechanisms that cause this event and lead to a subsequent retinal degeneration (RD) are not fully understood yet.
Previously in our laboratory, in albino rats, it was demonstrated that the constant exposure to low intensity LED light (200 lux) triggers a RD process with deep remodeling and loss of tissue functionality. It was evidenced that this occurs due to the death of the PC by a caspase-3 independent mechanism, the incidence of oxidative stress and changes in the composition of retinal fatty acids.
In order to continue elucidating the mechanisms that lead to RD promoted by LED light, we will study the kinetics of cell death during the days of exposure through the analysis of the expression levels of apoptosis and necroptosis-related factors, and the role of retinal glial cells (macro and microglia), retinal restructuration and glucose metabolism. We will also study the antioxidants effects in order to prevent or delay the cell death.