Mitochondrial damage plays a prominent role in glaucoma. The only way cells can degrade whole mitochondria is via autophagy, in a process called mitophagy. Thus, studying mitophagy in the context of glaucoma is essential to understand the disease. Up to date limited tools are available for analyzing mitophagy in vivo. We have taken advantage of the mito-QC reporter, a recently generated mouse model that allows an accurate mitophagy assessment to fill this gap. We used primary RGCs and retinal explants derived from mito-QC mice to quantify mitophagy activation in vitro and ex vivo. We also analyzed mitophagy in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), in vivo, using different mitophagy inducers, as well as after optic nerve crush (ONC) in mice, a commonly used surgical procedure to model glaucoma. Using mito-QC reporter we quantified mitophagy induced by several known inducers in primary RGCs in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo. We also found that RGCs were rescued from some glaucoma relevant stress factors by incubation with the iron chelator deferiprone (DFP). Thus, the mito-QC reporter-based model is a valuable tool for accurately analyzing mitophagy in the context of glaucoma.
- Cell death
- Mito-QC reporter
- Primary neuronal cell culture
- Retinal ganglion cells