In glaucoma, the output neurons of the retina, the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), progressively degenerate, leading to irreversible blindness (Ahram et al., 2015). The ex vivo stem cell method to replace degenerated RGCs remains a potentially viable approach (Levin et al., 2004). However, the success of the approach depends upon the ability of the de novo generated RGCs to connect over the long distance with specific targets in the central visual pathway. Here, we describe a protocol to examine the target specificity of the de novo generated RGCs using a co-culture approach where the RGCs neurites are allowed to choose between specific (superior colliculus; SC) and non-specific (inferior colliculus; IC) tectal targets.
Keywords: Glaucoma; Human induced pluripotent stem cells; Retinal ganglion cells; Superior colliculus; Target specificity.