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Yunyan Ye, Tung Anh Dinh Duong, Kengo Saito, Yohei Shinmyo, Yoshie Ichikawa, Tomomi Higashide, Kyosuke Kagami, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Kazuhisa Sugiyama, Hiroshi Kawasaki; Visualization of the Retina in Intact Eyes of Mice and Ferrets Using a Tissue Clearing Method. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(3):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.3.1.
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Visualization of specific cells and structures in intact organs would greatly facilitate our knowledge about pathological changes; therefore, a tissue clearing method applicable to the intact eye may be valuable. Here we report a novel imaging method for the retina using the hyperhydration-based tissue clearing technique CUBIC (Clear, Unobstructed Brain/Body Imaging Cocktails and Computational Analysis).
Eyes of Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice, C57BL/6 mice, and normally pigmented sable ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) were used. Intact eyes were subjected to CUBIC, melanin bleaching with H2O2, and immunostaining. Images of the retina in intact eyes were taken using epifluorescence microscopes and confocal microscopes.
The combination of melanin bleaching and CUBIC efficiently made the eyes of C57BL/6 mice transparent. By combining melanin bleaching, CUBIC, and immunostaining, we succeeded in visualization of retinal structures from the outside of the intact eyes of mice. Furthermore, we found that our methods were applicable not only to mouse eyes but also to ferret eyes, which are much larger than those of mice.
Our method was useful for visualizing specific cells and structures in the retina of intact eyes with single-cell resolution without making tissue sections.
This simple and efficient method can be applicable to various rodent models, including those associated with glaucoma or myopia, and will facilitate evaluating the effects of novel therapy for relevant eye diseases by visualizing changes from the retina to the sclera at both molecular and macroscopic levels simultaneously in a whole-eye preparation.
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