Scheimpflug imaging has recently been established for in vivo imaging of the anterior eye segment and quantitative determination of lens transparency in the mouse. This enables more effective investigations of cataract formation with the mouse model, including longitudinal studies. In order to enable recognition of disease-associated irregularities, we performed Scheimpflug measurements with the common laboratory inbred lines C57BL/6J, C3HeB/FeJ, FVB/NCrl, BALB/cByJ, and 129/SvJ in a period between 2 and 12 months of age. C57BL/6J mice showed lowest mean lens densities during the test period. Progressive cortical lens opacification was generally observed, with the earliest onset in C57BBL/6J, C3HeB/FeJ, and 129/SvJ, between 2 and 6 months after birth. Moreover, lenses of these inbred lines developed nuclear opacities. Calculated mean lens density significantly increased between 6 and 12 months of age in all inbred strains except 129/SvJ. Lens densities (and the corresponding standard deviations) of FVB/NCrl and 129/SvJ increased most likely because of differences in the genetic background. Albinism as confounder might be excluded since the albino Balb/cByJ mice are more similar to the C57BL/6J or C3Heb/FeJ mice. We further identified strain-specific anterior lens opacities (C57BL/6J) and cloudy corneal lesions (C57BL/6J, FVB/NCrl, and BALB/cByJ) at later stages. In conclusion, our results indicate that there are lifelong opacification processes in the mouse lens. The highest lens transparency and a dark coat color, which prevents interference from light reflections, make mice with the C57BL/6J background most suitable for cataract research by Scheimpflug imaging. We show that lens densitometry by Scheimpflug imaging in mouse eyes can resolve differences of less than 1 %, making it possible to detect differences in cataract development in different mouse strains, even if they are small.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 9, 2013
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