Rat model of photochemically-induced posterior ischemic optic neuropathy

Yan Wang, Dale P. Brown, Brant D. Watson, Jeffrey L. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Posterior Ischemic optic neuropathy (PION) is a sight-devastating disease in clinical practice. However, its pathogenesis and natural history have remained poorly understood. Recently, we developed a reliable, reproducible animal model of PION and tested the treatment effect of some neurotrophic factors in this model1. The purpose of this video is to demonstrate our photochemically induced model of posterior ischemic optic neuropathy, and to evaluate its effects with retrograde labeling of retinal ganglion cells. Following surgical exposure of the posterior optic nerve, a photosensitizing dye, erythrosin B, is intravenously injected and a laser beam is focused onto the optic nerve surface. Photochemical interaction of erythrosin B and the laser during irradiation damages the vascular endothelium, prompting microvascular occlusion mediated by platelet thrombosis and edematous compression. The resulting ischemic injury yields a gradual but pronounced retinal ganglion cell dieback, owing to a loss of axonal input - a remote, injury-induced and clinically relevant outcome. Thus, this model provides a novel platform to study the pathophysiologic course of PION, and can be further optimized for testing therapeutic approaches for optic neuropathies as well as other CNS ischemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52402
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number105
StatePublished - Nov 29 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Ischemic
  • Issue 105
  • Medicine
  • Optic nerve
  • Photo-chemical
  • Retinal ganglion cell
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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