You are here: vision-research.eu » Vision Research » Vision in the European Focus » 2015 » Charles River Scientific Poster Award at the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2015

CHARLES RIVER Scientific Poster Award at the Young Researcher Vision Camp 2015

The winner is Anna-Marina van der Meer from Aachen, Germany with the topic on the establishment of a photoreceptor degeneration model in rabbits.

CHARLES RIVER recognizes the winners for outstanding scientific contributions and awards excellence in research.

Dr. Thomas Wheeler-Schilling - European Vision Institute EEIG, Anna-Marina van der Meer
Image Anna-Marina van der Meer

Charles River Awardee – Anna-Marina van der Meer

Title:
Establishment of a Photoreceptor Degeneration Model in Rabbits

Authors:
Anna-Marina van der Meer, Sarah Rösch, Sandra Johnen, Peter Walter

Affiliations:
Department of OphthalmologyPauwelsstraße 3052074 Aachen, Germany

The Abstract

Establishment of a Photoreceptor Degeneration Model in Rabbits

Anna-Marina van der Meer, Sarah Rösch, Sandra Johnen, Peter Walter
Department of OphthalmologyPauwelsstraße 3052074 Aachen, Germany

Purpose

In patients suffering from retinal degenerative diseases, e.g. retinitis pigmentosa, functionality can be regained by prostheses, where electrical stimulation of surviving retinal cells is induced by microelectrodes. In order to test newly developed retinal implants, a large-eye animal model that mimics the properties of this type of retinal degeneration is required. In particular, an unilateral induction of photoreceptor degeneration is desired using the contralateral eye as control.

Methods

Pigmented chinchilla bastard rabbits, weighing 3.0 to 3.5 kg, received an intravitreal injection of n-methyl-n-nitrosourea (MNU) into the left eye. The applied MNU concentration was adjusted to the respective vitreous volume, which was calculated using ultrasound biometry. After injection, a weekly follow-up with macroscopy, funduscopy, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and electroretinogram (ERG) was performed. After three weeks, animals were sacrificed and both eyes were prepared for immunohistochemistry.

Results

Immunohistochemical stainings of MNU-treated eyes revealed scattered areas of photoreceptor degeneration. Additionally, various side effects on the retina itself (retinal detachment, retinal tears), as well as on other ocular tissues (e.g. chemosis, lens lesions) were observed. However, the contralateral eye was not affected. Retinal detachments observed in funduscopy also showed in ERG recordings and OCT scans.

Conclusions

Intravitreal injection of MNU induced photoreceptor degeneration in rabbits. However, several difficulties impeded the experiments: due to MNU’s teratogenicity and carcinogenicity, a high organizational effort is mandatory to perform these experiments. In order to achieve the desired MNU concentrations, only small volumes of solvents can be used, thus decreasing the solubility of MNU. Its poor solubility together with its short half-life (30 to 40 minutes) affected the MNU concentration to be injected in an uncontrollable manner. Additionally, it is not exactly known, how MNU interacts with components of the vitreous body, possibly interfering with the consistent dispersion of MNU.

Acknowledgement

DFG

Missing some information on vision-research.eu?

* mandatory field