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Weihao Chen, Georgios Tsissios, Anthony Sallese, Byran Smucker, Anh-Thu Nguyen, Junfan Chen, Hui Wang, Katia Del Rio-Tsonis; In Vivo Imaging of Newt Lens Regeneration: Novel Insights Into the Regeneration Process. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2021;10(10):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.10.10.4.
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To establish optical coherence tomography (OCT) as an in vivo imaging modality for investigating the process of newt lens regeneration.
Spectral-domain OCT was employed for in vivo imaging of the newt lens regeneration process. A total of 37 newts were lentectomized and followed by OCT imaging over the course of 60 to 80 days. Histological images were obtained at several time points to compare with the corresponding OCT images. Volume measurements were also acquired.
OCT can identify the key features observed in corresponding histological images based on the scattering differences from various eye tissues, such as the cornea, intact and regenerated lens, and the iris. Lens volume measurements from three-dimensional OCT images showed that the regenerating lens size increased linearly until 60 days post-lentectomy.
Using OCT imaging, we were able to track the entire process of newt lens regeneration in vivo for the first time. Three-dimensional OCT images allowed us to volumetrically quantify and visualize the dynamic spatial relationships between tissues during the regeneration process. Our results establish OCT as an in vivo imaging modality to track/analyze the entire lens regeneration process from the same animal.
Lens regeneration in newts represents a unique example of vertebrate tissue plasticity. Investigating the cellular and morphological events that govern this extraordinary process in vivo will advance our understanding and shed light on developing new therapies to treat blinding disorders in higher vertebrates.
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