To examine the lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) eye and determine similarities to and differences between the mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei) and the human eye. In addition, we compare our findings of G. g. gorilla to previous reports on the eye of this subspecies.
A 13-year-old deceased male lowland gorilla and a 34-year-old deceased female lowland gorilla were included in the study. Gross and microscopic examinations of the formalin-fixed right eyeball of each gorilla were carried out.
Globe dimensions of G. g. gorilla were similar to G. g. beringei and to humans. The limbal conjunctival epithelium and the choroid were densely pigmented. However, the distribution of the conjunctival pigment ring was different to that of G. g. beringei and the melanocytes of the choroid were unusually round. There were deep crypts in the anterior border layer of the iris, and the epithelium of the pars plana was uniquely irregular. Vertical corneal diameter was observed to be equal or greater than horizontal diameter in G. g. gorilla, which is in contrast to humans and to previous findings for G. g. beringei. Corneal thickness was closer to that of humans than to G. g. beringei. Posterior lens capsule thickness was noticeably greater than that of humans.
Although some variation between the ocular anatomy of G. g. gorilla and G. g. beringei does exist, the gross and microscopic findings closely resemble each other in these two subspecies. In addition, the eye of Gorilla appears remarkably similar to the human eye. However, comparison of measurements with those in humans is somewhat limited because formalin-fixation can introduce tissue shrinkage and artifact.
"Formaldehyde fixation causes shrinkage because it extracts water from the tissues (Steedman, 1976). This is largely reported in the literature and is related to fixation over time; however, the mechanisms underlying shrinkage are not completely understood (Fox et al., 1985; Knapp et al., 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The case of a 31-year-old captive female Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) with decreased near vision but good distance vision is presented. Examination of the fundus revealed drusen-like bodies in the macula presumably because of an age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selection of appropriate animal models for ocular research is essential to enhance validity of results and to minimize number of animals used. Knowledge of differences in ocular anatomy and physiology of the various animal models is one of the most important parameters in study design. In addition, the researcher must understand the disease process in the animal model and understand how this differs from the primary target animal (human or animal). Finally, the selection of the correct animal model is extremely important when considering route of therapy to translate therapeutic or pharmacokinetic results to larger animals such as humans. The purpose of this chapter is to review the ocular anatomy and physiology differences among common animal models of ocular disease to help researchers select appropriate animal models in experimental designs.
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