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Margaret E Collins, Collin Kolodziej, Randy Sharp, Keith Anderson, Patty Wells, Taylor Mack, Christopher Sprague; Evaluation of Zucker Diabetic Fatty and ZSF1-Obese Rats as Potential Models for Diabetic Retinopathy.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2530.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The most common animal model for assessing diabetic retinopathy is the Streptozotocin-induced rodent model. This model involves injection of STZ followed by glucose monitoring to confirm the diabetic state. Development of ocular lesions takes several weeks and study duration may be longer, during which time the health of the animals may be declining due to the diabetic state. This study was designed to monitor ZDF and ZDF-1 obese rats as a potential spontaneous model of diabetic retinopathy.
Fifteen rats (2 ZDF rats and 13 ZSF1-obese rats) were evaluated for ocular changes indicative of spontaneous development of diabetic retinopathy. Additionally, 4 ZSF1-lean rats were evaluated as controls. Adult animals aged 39-48 weeks were used on the study. Over a period of 11 weeks, the animals were evaluated approximately biweekly via ophthalmic examinations and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Slit lamp biomicroscopy was used to assess the anterior chamber and lens. Indirect ophthalmoscopy was used to assess the fundus and vitreous. OCT was conducted using the Heidelberg Spectralis to collect IR+OCT scans.
One ZDF animal was noted with focal retinal degeneration, while the second ZDF animal was noted with irregular retinal pigmentation. Ophthalmic findings for all other animals were limited to lens capsule and lens nucleus opacities. Once the opacities reached the point where visualization of the fundus was blurred, the animals were released from study. For each rat, there were no substantial changes in OCT scans over the course of the evaluation period. There were no differences in OCT scans between the three rat strains.
After 11 weeks of monitoring, there was no spontaneous development of diabetic retinopathy lesions that were detectable by OCT. Ophthalmic examinations demonstrated retinal changes in both ZDF animals. The ZSF1-obese strain does not appear to provide a spontaneous model of diabetic retinopathy that would be useful in the contract research setting; however, future evaluation using fluorescein angiography may provide useful data for characterizing retinal changes. Further evaluation of more ZDF animals is warranted.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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