Three blind mice: methods for assessing retinal and visual disturbances in rodent models
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Indiana University School of Medicine
Dr. S. Louise Pay received her Ph.D. in Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine in…
The study of retinal function and vision in animal models is vital for evaluating the efficacy of experimental ophthalmic therapies, including topical drug delivery, intravitreal injections, and cell replacement therapies. In addition, retinal and visual measurements in animal models may provide critical insight into potential ocular side-effects during drug development for other diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer prior to clinical trials. It has recently discovered that immune checkpoint inhibitors used to target cancers may cause uveal effusion and that inhibiting BACE1, a common target for Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics, is linked to retinal damage.
There are several approaches for determining the effect of a treatment or drug on the retina and visual response including optical coherence tomography to visualize retinal thickness, electroretinography to measure the electrical activity of retinal cells, and measurement of the optomotor and optokinetic response to approximate visual acuity. Fluorescein angiography allows for the non-invasive imaging of retinal vasculature. Additionally, immunohistochemistry of the retina and flat-mounting of the retinal or vascular structures are useful tools for evaluating retinal integrity and vessel abnormalities. The objective of this collection is to provide a collated overview of retinal and visual function measurement methods for rodents to aid researchers in developing strategies for determining the ocular effects of drugs and other therapeutics.