In Vivo Assessment of Rodent Retinal Structure Using Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography
To determine the potential of a commercially available optical coherence tomography (OCT) device (Spectralis™ HRA + OCT, Heidelberg Engineering) for small animal retinal imaging, we achieved to adapt this third generation OCT system to obtain and quantify high-resolution morphological sections of rodent retina in models with acquired and inherited retinal degenerations. Genetically induced (rd1, rho−/−, RPE65) and acquired retinal degeneration (light damage) was similarly clear as in histology and could be followed in a timeline fashion. We were able to detect and analyze a wide range of retinal pathology in a variety of established animal models used in vision research. As this technique allows longitudinal study designs, it will facilitate characterization of disease dynamics while reducing the numbers of study animals needed. Use of identical outcome measures and even the same diagnostic device in animal and clinical studies bears the potential to streamline translational approaches, e.g., in the assessment of putative therapeutic interventions.
KeywordsOptical coherence tomography Imaging Mouse models Retinal degeneration Light damage Rhodopsin RPE65 Rd1
We thank Dr. C. Burchard for critical discussions and insightful comments. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, grants Se837/5-2, Se837/6-1, Se837/7-1, and PA1751/1–1), the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF grant 0314106), the European Union grants LSHG-CT-512036, EU HEALTH-F2-2008-200234, and EU MEST-CT-2005–020235, and a contribution of the Tistou and Charlotte Kerstan Foundation to the OCT equipment.