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Chunhua Jiao, Kelsey Adler, Xiuying Liu, Weize Sun, Robert F. Mullins, Elliott H. Sohn; Visualization of Mouse Choroidal and Retinal Vasculature Using Fluorescent Tomato Lectin Perfusion. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(1):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.1.1.
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To develop a reliable and simplified method to assess choroid and retinal vasculature on whole mount and cross sections in mice using tomato lectin (TL; Lycopersicon esculentum).
Albino mice (n = 27) received 1 mg/mL of TL (conjugated to Dylight-594) intravascularly through the tail vein, jugular vein, or cardiac left ventricle. Whole mounts of the retina and choroid were evaluated using fluorescence microscopy. Perfusion with GSL-IB4 conjugated to Dylight-594 and fluorescein isothiocyanate was performed to compare against labeling with TL. Co-labeling of choroidal endothelial cells with perfused TL on cross-sections with antibodies directed against the choriocapillaris-restricted endothelial cell marker CA4 was performed. The percentage of perfused choroidal and retinal vessels was assessed semiquantitatively. One mouse was subjected to thermal laser damage before perfusion to cause retinal and choroidal vasculature ablation.
Intravascular injection of TL led to consistent, robust labeling of retinal and choroidal vascular walls. On cross-sections, choriocapillaris was co-labeled with CA4 and TL. On flat mount, TL perfusion resulted in better labeling of choroidal vessels using tail/jugular vein injection compared with cardiac perfusion (P < .01). More consistent labeling of the choroidal and retinal vascular trees was observed with TL than with GSL-IB4. Vascular damage caused by laser ablation was detected readily using this method.
TL injection intravascularly can reliably label normal and ablated choroid and retinal vasculature in mouse in a quick, simple manner.
These data will help to facilitate modeling in rodents for diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetes, and other ischemic/angiogenic processes that can also be used for treatment evaluation.
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