Destabilizing COXIV in Müller Glia Increases Retinal Glycolysis and Alters Scotopic Electroretinogram

Nana Yaa Nsiah, Denise M. Inman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Müller glia (MG), the principal glial cell of the retina, have a metabolism that defies categorization into glycolytic versus oxidative. We showed that MG mount a strong hypoxia response to ocular hypertension, raising the question of their relative reliance on mitochondria for function. To explore the role of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in MG energy production in vivo, we generated and characterized adult mice in which MG have impaired cytochrome c oxidase (COXIV) activity through knockout of the COXIV constituent COX10. Histochemistry and protein analysis showed that COXIV protein levels were significantly lower in knockout mouse retina compared to control. Loss of COXIV activity in MG did not induce structural abnormalities, though oxidative stress was increased. Electroretinography assessment showed that knocking out COX10 significantly impaired scotopic a- and b-wave responses. Inhibiting mitochondrial respiration in MG also altered the retinal glycolytic profile. However, blocking OXPHOS in MG did not significantly exacerbate retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss or photopic negative response after ocular hypertension (OHT). These results suggest that MG were able to compensate for reduced COXIV stability by maintaining fundamental processes, but changes in retinal physiology and metabolism-associated proteins indicate subtle changes in MG function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3756
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Müller glia
  • electroretinogram
  • glaucoma
  • glycolysis
  • metabolism
  • oxidative phosphorylation


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