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Kevin Z Kwan, Karla Villafan, Tiffany Tran, Pinakin Gunvant Davey, D Joshua Cameron; The effects of zeaxanthin injections on bugeye (Lrp2) mutant zebrafish vision, a model to study glaucoma treatments. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2573.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Glaucoma has been characterized as a group of disorders that lead to retinal cell damage and eventual loss of central vision. Carotenoids such as zeaxanthin have previously been shown to protect and improve vision in both humans and animals. Because Lrp2 mutant zebrafish mimic the increased ocular pressure and loss of retinal cells that has been associated with glaucoma, examining the effects of zeaxanthin on this model will further elucidate the effects that carotenoids have on protecting the retina from disease, especially glaucoma.
Lrp2 (bugeye) zebrafish aged 6 months were used and maintained under standard conditions. Zebrafish monocular and binocular visual acuities were measured using the optokinetic response. Visual acuity was correlated to eye and body size due to the assymetric buphthalmia present in these fish. Zeaxanthin was administered (0.46ng/uL) using an intracameral injection of approximately 9.2 nL. For each animal, one eye was injected with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and the other with zeaxanthin dissolved in PBS. Examinations of fish vision were obtained before treatment and subsequently at 2, 5, and 8 weeks following treatment to see if there was an effect on visual function. Additionally, eyes were removed and the retinal histology was examined. A paired t-test was used to compare visual acuities between the subjects at each time point.
Intracameral injections of zeaxanthin improved visual acuity in the injected eye, but not the uninjected eye. The resulting binocular acuity also increased, likely due to the improved eye. 2 weeks after injections, a 19% increase in binocular visual acuity was observed (p=0.008 n=15). 6 weeks after the injection the visual acuity of the zebrafish remained the same. There was a similar improvement observed in the OD visual acuity of injected fish of nearly 13% (p=0.04 n=15).
Zeaxanthin significantly improved visual acuity. Follow-up testing of these fish will allow us to determine if the visual acuity stabilizes and additional histological examination will aid in characterizing the observed improvement in visual acuity.
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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