May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Frequency and Nature of Spontaneous Ocular Abnormalities in APO E Mice
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • A. R. Wegener
    Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • S. Günther, Sr.
    Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships A.R. Wegener, None; S. Günther, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 2027. doi:
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      A. R. Wegener, S. Günther, Sr.; Frequency and Nature of Spontaneous Ocular Abnormalities in APO E Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2027. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose:: To investigate the type and frequency of spontaneous ocular abnormalities occurring in a 1 year study on APO E mice under different dietary conditions and to find out to which extend pathological vascular changes trigger a higher frequency of distinct ocular abnormalities. The APO E mouse has a genetically triggered defect in the metabolism of apolipoprotein E which as general effect induces obesity, calcification of the arterial vessel walls and high risk of stroke.

Methods:: 120 APO E mice (60 male, 60 female) were examined with a photo slit-lamp microscope at the end of a 1 year study period. During the study period the animals were kept on different diets with respect to content or restriction of milk or beef fat respectively. At the 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, animals were sacrificed and their eyes fixated and processed for light and electron microscopic examinations. A separate group of lenses was processed for protein biochemical analyses.

Results:: Band-shaped or spot-like corneal opacities occurred in 76% of all animals. Anterior and posterior sutural opacities as well as posterior subcapsular cataracts were found in almost 100% of the lenses. In addition an anterior polar cataract in the suture centre could be observed in the same frequency. In histopathology this cataract appeared as an massive epithelial hyperplasia. At a much lower frequency (10%), different types of cortical cataracts occurred. Histopathology also revealed various other abnormalities like iris cysts, hypoplasia of the ciliary body, synechiae, lens capsular rupture and retinal folds and choroidal abnormalities, all at comparatively low frequencies. Crystallin patterns in the lenses showed aging changes but otherwise were unaffected over the whole observation period.

Conclusions:: The APO E mouse demonstrated an unusually high frequency of abnormalities in the cornea and lens over the 1 year observation period. These frequencies seem to be specific for this mutant. The dietary conditions, milk fat versus beef fat as well as the restriction conditions did not influence the type or severity of the abnormalities observed.

Keywords: cataract • aging • lipids 

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