Sensory afferents from trigeminal tissues are critical for both homeostatic function and the perception of pain. These functions are disrupted in a number of disease states. Using a multi-faceted approach, the Aicher lab is currently investigating the cellular changes in corneal sensory neurons in models of Dry Eye Disease (DED).
By light, confocal and electron microscopy, are there structural and neurochemical changes in the peripheral aspects of the sensory neurons innervating the cornea during DED?
Beta-tubulin staining of a whole mount cornea:
Corneal epithelium by electron microscopy:
Using tract-tracing combined with multi-labeling immunohistochemistry, what are the changes in the trigeminal sensory neuron cell bodies and their central terminals?