Dr. Vincent Pernet has been Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Laval University since 2014. His research focuses on the mechanisms of plasticity and neuronal degeneration in diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, as well as occurring during normal and pathological aging of the visual system.

Enabling the plasticity of visual neurons

With his team, he is interested in molecules likely to alter the functioning of retinal cells, such as the Nogo-A neuronal plasticity inhibitory protein, the proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease (amyloid and Tau) and the CNTF-Stat3 pathway that governs neuronal growth. Dr. Pernet has demonstrated the important role of the Nogo-A protein in inhibiting the regeneration of the injured optic nerve, and in the plasticity of the visual system, intact or injured. Neutralization of Nogo-A strongly increases neuronal plasticity and visual recovery in ocular disease models. Recently, his team discovered that neutralizing Nogo-A with a blocking antibody also improves vascular repair and retinal function in a proliferative retinopathy model. These results suggest that Nogo-A may be a therapeutic target to restore normal retinal vasculature, and protect the eyesight of patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy or retinopathy of prematurity. Tests are underway to determine the effects of Nogo-A in diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Reducing the effects of normal and pathological aging of the retina

The aging of the visual system is characterized by a decline in retinal function, which can be followed using electroretinographic measurements. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the loss of activity in the eye’s neurons are not known. Dr. Pernet’s lab is trying to identify the factors that influence the observed reorganization of neuronal connections in the retinas of old animals. Ultimately, the results of this work could be used to stimulate functional reconnection of circuits in the aging retina.

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Gauthier R, Joly S, Pernet V, Lachapelle P, Di Polo A

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene delivery to muller glia preserves structure and function of light-damaged photoreceptors

Journal Article

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 46 (9), 2005.

Abstract | Links:

Pernet V, Anctil M, Grimmelikhuijzen CJ

Antho-RFamide-containing neurons in the primitive nervous system of the anthozoan Renilla koellikeri

Journal Article

J Comp Neurol, 472 (2), 2004.

Abstract | Links:

Pernet V, Gavino V, Gavino G, Anctil M

Variations of lipid and fatty acid contents during the reproductive cycle of the anthozoan Renilla koellikeri

Journal Article

J Comp Physiol B, 172 (6), 2002.

Abstract | Links:

Pernet V, Anctil M

Annual variations and sex-related differences of estradiol-17beta levels in the anthozoan Renilla koellikeri

Journal Article

Gen Comp Endocrinol, 129 (1), 2002.

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Active projects

  • Mechanisms of neuronal and vascular impairments in ischemic retinopathies, from 2019-04-01 to 2024-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • Études des mécanismes de plasticité vasculaire et neuronale dans les maladies de la rétine, from 2018-07-01 to 2020-08-31
  • Mécanismes moléculaires contrôlant le développement des cellules de Müller de la rétine et leurs effets sur l’angiogenèse., from 2015-04-01 to 2021-02-28
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery