PURPOSE. To characterize progressive changes of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function and intraocular pressure (IOP) in the DBA/2J mouse model of spontaneous glaucoma. METHODS. Serial pattern electroretinograms (PERGs) and IOPs measures were obtained from both eyes of 32 anesthetized DBA/2J mice over an age range of 2 to 12 months at 1-month intervals. Cone-driven flash-ERGs (FERGs) were also recorded. The endpoint was defined as the age at which the PERG amplitude reached the noise level in at least one eye. At that point, both eyes were histologically processed to evaluate the thickness of the retinal fiber layer (RNFL). RESULTS. IOP increased moderately between 2 and 6 months (∼14-17 mm Hg) and then more steeply, until it leveled off at approximately 28 mm Hg by 9 to 11 months. The mean PERG amplitude decreased progressively after 3 months of age to reach the noise level (85% reduction of normal amplitude) at approximately 9 to 12 months in different animals. When the PERG was at noise level, the RNFL showed a relatively smaller reduction (40%) in normal thickness. The FERG displayed minor changes throughout the observation period. IOP and PERG changes were highly correlated (r2 = 0.51, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS. Results indicate that inner retina function in DBA/2J mice progressively decreases after 3 months of age, and it is nearly abolished by 10 to 11 months, whereas outer retina function shows little change and the RNFL thickness is relatively spared. This result suggests that surviving RGCs may not be functional. Progression of inner retinal dysfunction is strongly associated with increased IOP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience