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T.M. Holmes, B. Silver, R.M. Douglas, R.D. Lund, G.T. Prusky; Rapid assessment of vision in the Royal College of Surgeons & Long Evens rats using Optomotor; a virtual reality visual screening system. . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):5165.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose:To determine if the OptoMotry system is sensitive enough to assess spatial vision in normal laboratory rats, rats with degenerated retinas, and rats with sub–retinal transplants to limit photoreceptor degeneration. Methods:OptoMotry consists of a rotating virtual cylinder projected in 3D coordinate space on four monitors arranged in a quad–square. Rats are placed on a platform in the center of the square where they reflexively track the drifting cylinder when a suprathreshold sine wave stimulus is displayed on it. Acuity is measured by systematically increasing the spatial frequency of the grating until the rats no longer track the cylinder. Similar procedures, but varying grating contrast, are used to generate contrast sensitivity curves. Results: Acuity and contrast sensitivity thresholds were measured each day in Long–Evans rats from the day of eye–opening to adulthood. Acuity increased from about 0.4 c/d at 15 days of age to near 0.9 c/d by 25 days of age, and remained unchanged thereafter. Pigmented RCS rats at three months of age exhibited grating acuities between 0.25 and 0.28 c/d with peak contrast sensitivity near 30% at 0.092 c/d. Previous optomotor tests indicated that the RCS rats were blind at this age. RCS rats transplanted with ARPE19 cells generated higher threshold responses. Conclusions: Rat models of retinal disease have been used for many years but there has never been a rapid, non–invasive method of quantifying spatial vision in these animals. The virtual optomotor task satisfies this need, making it possible to follow spatial visual thresholds over time as degeneration progresses and to examine the effects of therapeutic treatments on vision.
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