Author(s):Mezu-Ndubuisi OJ, Adams T, Taylor LK, Nwaba A, Eickhoff J. Simultaneous assessment of aberrant retinal vascularization, thickness, and function in an in vivo mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model. Eye (Lond). 2019 Mar;33(3):363-373. doi: 10.1038/s41433-018-0205-1. Epub 2018 Sep 12.
BACKGROUND Retinopathy of prematurity is a condition of abnormal retinal vascularization in premature infants. The effect of abnormal vascularization on retinal structure and function is unclear. In vivo studies of retinal vascularization, thickness, and function were performed in mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR mice).
METHODS Eighteen mice were exposed to hyperoxia at postnatal day (P) 7, whereas 18 mice were raised in room air (RA). At P20 and 40, electroretinogram was performed for a-wave and b-wave amplitudes and peak times, followed by simultaneous fluorescein angiography for retinal avascular area, arterial tortuosity, and vein dilation assessments, and spectral domain optical coherence tomography for retinal thickness.
RESULTS Capillary density appeared sparser in OIR mice, but retinal avascular area similar to RA mice. Retinal artery tortuosity was higher at P20 and P40 (P = 0.0001) in OIR than RA mice. OIR mice had dilated retinal veins at P20 and thinner inner retinas at P40. Retinal vein width positively correlated with inner retinal thickness (P = 0.008). b-wave amplitude was decreased in avascular retinal areas, and correlated with inner retinal thinning. b-wave peak time was prolonged in adult OIR mice at high intensities (P = 0.03).
CONCLUSIONS Focal variations in retinal vascularization of OIR mice correlate with thickness and function. Adult OIR mice had increased retinal artery tortuosity, prolonged b-wave peak time, and decreased retinal vein width with inner retina attrition. These suggest abnormalities in inner retinal morphology or post-receptor signaling. Studying interactions between retinal vascular, structural, and functional changes could enhance knowledge of OIR pathogenesis and potential therapies.