AVN Members : Dr. Yves Sauve
Diseases of vision affect more than 10% of Canadians, and are more prevalent in senior citizens. By the age of 65, one in nine Canadians develop serious age-related vision loss; by the age of 75, this ratio jumps to one in four, with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) being the two major causes. The often initially undetected asymptomatic slow progression of AMD and DR limits the efficacy of preventative treatments. As such, we direct our efforts toward providing early diagnosis by studying pathophysiological triggers in order to ultimately develop preventative therapies for AMD and DR.
A major hurdle has been the lack of optimal animal models of early stage AMD and DR. Our lab is relying on the ELOVL4 transgenic mouse and the Nile rat that respectively share similar pathological processes to dry AMD and non-proliferative DR. We have undertaken detailed analyses of these models, which further support anatomical and functional similarities with those in human. Our analytical approaches rely on anatomy (fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, electron microscopy, immunohistofluorescence and multi-photon imaging) and functional analysis (behavioural assessment of vision, electroretinography, visually evoked potentials and single cell recordings). Recently, we have introduced the quantitative functional dissection of specific aspects of the mitochondrial respiration system in collaboration with Dr. Helene Lemieux, using the oxygraph OROBOROS. We are reinforcing our hypothesis that metabolic changes are early indicators of both AMD and DR development.
Canada is currently experiencing an unprecedented surge in age-related blindness. The need to take action to prevent and manage vision loss has never been greater. Ultimately, our goal to prevent vision losses will be implemented via public awareness and sensitization to the fundamental role of regular vision testing and lifestyle on vision health.
1: Kuny S, Cho WJ, Dimopoulos IS, Sauvé Y. Early Onset Ultrastructural and Functional Defects in RPE and Photoreceptors of a Stargardt-Like Macular Dystrophy (STGD3) Transgenic Mouse Model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Nov 1;56(12):7109-21.
2: Cuenca N, Fernández-Sánchez L, Sauvé Y, Segura FJ, Martínez-Navarrete G, Tamarit JM, Fuentes-Broto L, Sanchez-Cano A, Pinilla I. Correlation between SD-OCT, immunocytochemistry and functional findings in an animal model of retinal degeneration. Front Neuroanat. 2014 Dec 22;8:151.
3: Dimopoulos IS, Freund PR, Redel T, Dornstauder B, Gilmour G, Sauvé Y. Changes in rod and cone-driven oscillatory potentials in the aging human retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jul 17;55(8):5058-73.
4: Gaillard F, Kuny S, Sauvé Y. Retinal distribution of Disabled-1 in a diurnal murine rodent, the Nile grass rat Arvicanthis niloticus. Exp Eye Res. 2014 Aug;125:236-43.
5: Kuny S, Filion MA, Suh M, Gaillard F, Sauvé Y. Long-term retinal cone survival and delayed alteration of the cone mosaic in a transgenic mouse model of stargardt-like dystrophy (STGD3). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jan 21;55(1):424-39.