This study reports development of a novel method for high-resolution in vivo imaging of the function of individual mouse retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that overcomes many limitations of available methods for recording RGC physiology. The technique combines insertion of a genetically encoded calcium indicator into RGCs with imaging of calcium responses over many days with FACILE (functional adaptive optics cellular imaging in the living eye). FACILE extends the most common method for RGC physiology, in vitro physiology, by allowing repeated imaging of the function of each cell over many sessions and by avoiding damage to the retina during removal from the eye. This makes it possible to track changes in the response of individual cells during morphological development or degeneration. FACILE also overcomes limitations of existing in vivo imaging methods, providing fine spatial and temporal detail, structure-function comparison, and simultaneous analysis of multiple cells.
Keywords: calcium imaging; in vivo adaptive optics imaging; retinal ganglion cells.