A Population Study of Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N rd8 Mice

Bret A. Moore, University of California, Davis
Michel J. Roux, University of Strasbourg
Lionel Sebbag, Iowa State University
Ann Cooper, University of California, Davis
Sydney G. Edwards, University of California, Davis
Brian C. Leonard, University of California, Davis
Denise M. Imai, University of California, Davis
Stephen Griffey, University of California, Davis
Lynette Bower, University of California, Davis
Dave Clary, University of California, Davis
K. C. Kent Lloyd, University of California, Davis
Yann Herault, University of Strasbourg
Sara M. Thomasy, University of California, Davis
Christopher J. Murphy, University of California, Davis
Ala Moshiri, University of California, Davis

This article is published as Moore, Bret A., Michel J. Roux, Lionel Sebbag, Ann Cooper, Sydney G. Edwards, Brian C. Leonard, Denise M. Imai et al. "A Population Study of Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N rd8 Mice." Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 59, no. 6 (2018): 2252-2261. DOI: 10.1167/iovs.17-23513. Posted with permission.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to quantify the frequency and severity of ocular abnormalities affecting wild-type C57BL/6N mice, the most common strain used worldwide for the creation of single-gene knockouts.

Methods: A total of 2773 animals (5546 eyes) were examined at one colony at UC Davis and in three more colonies at the Institut Clinique de la Souris in Strasbourg, France. Mice were examined at 15 to 16 weeks postnatal age by performing anterior segment biomicroscopy, posterior segment examination by indirect ophthalmoscopy, intraocular pressure measurement, and optical coherence tomography of anterior and posterior segment structures.

Results: Common ocular findings in the C57BL/6N strain included corneal deposits (3%), increased optical density of the anterior lens capsule (67%), punctate nuclear cataracts (98%), vitreous crystalline deposits (61%), hyaloid vascular remnant (6%), and retinal dysplasia attributed to the rd8 mutation (58%). Interestingly, retinal dysplasia was more common in male mice in all four breeding colonies evaluated in this study. The thickness of ocular tissues and compartments were measured by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, including the central cornea, anterior chamber, vitreous, and retinal layers. Intraocular pressure was measured by rebound tonometry.

Conclusions: Ocular abnormalities are common in anterior and posterior segments of the C57BL/6N mouse, the most common background on which single-gene knockout mice have been made. It is important that vision scientists understand the extent and variability of ocular findings associated with this particular genetic background of mice.