Author(s): Adelman SA, Oikawa K, Senthilkumar G, Trane RM, Teixeira LBC, McLellan GJ. Mapping retinal ganglion cell somas in a large-eyed glaucoma model. Mol Vis. 2021 Nov 19;27:608-621. eCollection 2021. PMID 34924741
Journal: Molecular Vision, Volume 27, 2021
Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify a robust, representative region of interest (ROI) for studies of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) soma loss in feline congenital glaucoma (FCG), a spontaneous, large-eyed glaucoma model.
Methods Seven FCG and three wild-type (wt) eyes were collected from 10 adult cats of both sexes. Eyes enucleated postmortem were immediately fixed overnight in 4% paraformaldehyde and then stored in 0.1 M PBS at 4 °C. The retinas were wholemounted, Nissl stained with cresyl violet, and imaged using light microscopy. Somas of RGCs were manually identified according to long-established morphological criteria and quantified using a semiautomated method; their coordinates were used to create density maps and plots of the retinal topography. The RGC axon counts for the corresponding eyes were obtained from glutaraldehyde-fixed, resin-embedded optic nerve cross-sections stained with 0.1% p-phenylenediamine (PPD) using a semiautomated counting method. Correlations between total optic nerve axons and RGC soma counts were assessed by linear regression. A k-means cluster algorithm was used to identify a retinal ROI, with further definition using a probability density algorithm.
Results Interindividual variability in RGC total soma counts was more pronounced in FCG cats (mean = 83,244, range: 0-155,074) than in wt cats (mean = 117,045, range: 97,373-132,972). In general, RGC soma counts were lower in FCG cats than they were in wt cats. RGC axon counts in the optic nerve cross-sections were lower than, but strongly correlated to, the total RGC soma count across all cats (in wt and FCG retinas; R2 = 0.88) and solely FCG eyes (R2 = 0.92). The k-means cluster algorithm indicated a region of the greatest mean difference between the normal wt retinas and FCG-affected retinas within the temporal retina, incorporating the region of the area centralis.
Conclusions As in other species, RGC soma count and topography are heterogeneous between individual cats, but we identified an ROI in the temporal retina for future studies of RGC soma loss or preservation in a large-eyed model of congenital glaucoma. Many of the methods refined and established to facilitate studies in this FCG model will be broadly applicable to studies in other large-eyed models.