Modulatory influence of stimulus parameters on optokinetic head-tracking response.
ABSTRACT Optokinetic testing is a non-invasive technique, widely used for visual functional evaluation in rodents. The modulatory influence of optokinetic stimulus parameters such as contrast level and grating speed on head-tracking response in normal and retinal degenerate (RD) mice (rd10) and rats (S334ter-line-3) was evaluated using a computer-based testing apparatus. In normal (non-RD) mice and rats, specific stripe width and grating speed was found to evoke maximum optokinetic head-tracking response. In line-3 RD rats, the contrast sensitivity loss was slow and remained close to the baseline (normal control) level until very late in the disease, whereas, in rd10 mice the progression of the contrast sensitivity loss was more rapid. Observed differences between rd10 mice and line-3 RD rats in the progression of contrast sensitivity loss may not be directly related to the degree of photoreceptor loss. In young RD mice, the modulatory influence of stimulus parameters on optokinetic head-tracking response was similar to normal control animals. During later stages, slower grating speed was required to evoke the maximum optokinetic response. Grating speed had lesser apparent influence on the response properties of line-3 RD rats. Discrepancies between the two RD models in the modulatory influence of optokinetic stimulus parameters can be the manifestation of fundamental species differences and/or differences in the degeneration pattern. This study highlights the importance of careful selection of appropriate stimulus parameters for testing optokinetic head-tracking response in RD animals.
SourceAvailable from: Carl Atkinson[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a complex disease involving genetic variants and environmental insults, is among the leading causes of blindness in Western populations. Genetic and histologic evidence implicate the complement system in AMD pathogenesis; and smoking is the major environmental risk factor associated with increased disease risk. Although previous studies have demonstrated that cigarette smoke exposure (CE) causes retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) defects in mice, and smoking leads to complement activation in patients, it is unknown whether complement activation is causative in the development of CE pathology; and if so, which complement pathway is required. Mice were exposed to cigarette smoke or clean, filtered air for 6 months. The effects of CE were analyzed in wildtype (WT) mice or mice without a functional complement alternative pathway (AP; CFB(-/-) ) using molecular, histological, electrophysiological, and behavioral outcomes. CE in WT mice exhibited a significant reduction in function of both rods and cones as determined by electroretinography and contrast sensitivity measurements, concomitant with a thinning of the nuclear layers as measured by SD-OCT imaging and histology. Gene expression analyses suggested that alterations in both photoreceptors and RPE/choroid might contribute to the observed loss of function, and visualization of complement C3d deposition implies the RPE/Bruch's membrane (BrM) complex as the target of AP activity. RPE/BrM alterations include an increase in mitochondrial size concomitant with an apical shift in mitochondrial distribution within the RPE and a thickening of BrM. CFB(-/-) mice were protected from developing these CE-mediated alterations. Taken together, these findings provide clear evidence that ocular pathology generated in CE mice is dependent on complement activation and requires the AP. Identifying animal models with RPE/BrM damage and verifying which aspects of pathology are dependent upon complement activation is essential for developing novel complement-based treatment approaches for the treatment of AMD.PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e67894. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067894 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is an inherited disorder affecting the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons that lead to the loss of central vision. This study is aimed at evaluating the LHON symptoms in rats administered with rotenone microspheres into the superior colliculus (SC). Optical coherence tomography (OCT) analysis showed substantial loss of retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in rotenone injected rats. Optokinetic testing in rotenone treated rats showed decrease in head-tracking response. Electrophysiological mapping of the SC surface demonstrated attenuation of visually evoked responses; however, no changes were observed in the ERG data. The progressive pattern of disease manifestation in rotenone administered rats demonstrated several similarities with human disease symptoms. These rats with LHON-like symptoms can serve as a model for future investigators to design and implement reliable tests to assess the beneficial effects of therapeutic interventions for LHON disease. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Neuroscience Letters 12/2014; 585. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2014.12.004 · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Testing optokinetic head or eye movements is an established method to determine visual performance of laboratory animals, including chickens, guinea pigs, mice, or fish. It is based on the optokinetic reflex which causes the animals to track a drifting stripe pattern with eye and head movements. We have developed an improved version of the optomotor test with better control over the stimulus parameters, as well as a high degree of automation. The stripe pattern is presented on computer monitors surrounding the animal. By tracking the head position of freely moving animals in real time, the visual angle under which the stripes of the pattern appeared was kept constant even for changing head positions. Furthermore, an algorithm was developed for automated evaluation of the tracking performance of the animal. Comparing the automatically determined behavioral score with manual assessment of the animals' tracking behavior confirmed the reliability of our methodology. As an example, we reproduced the known contrast sensitivity function of wild type mice. Furthermore, the progressive decline in visual performance of a mouse model of retinal degeneration, rd10, was demonstrated. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).Behavioral Neuroscience 08/2013; 127(5). DOI:10.1037/a0033944 · 3.25 Impact Factor