The Sarthy lab focuses on gene regulation, development and functional organization of the vertebrate retina. Specifically, neuronal degeneration, injury, infection and trauma lead to cellular changes in neighboring glial cells. Some of the changes are related to wound healing and tissue repair, whereas others reflect glial cell involvement in protecting the neurons from further damage. In the vertebrate retina, rod and cone photoreceptor degeneration results in â??reactive gliosis' and up-regulation of certain genes in the neighboring MÃ¼ller (glial) cells. A major goal of our current research work is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible gene induction in â??reactive' MÃ¼ller cells. Recent cell transfection studies and experiments with GFAP-lacZ transgenic mice have shown that the glial intermediate filament protein (GFAP) gene is strongly activated in â??reactive' MÃ¼ller cells.
Part of The Investigator's Annexe program.