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Yong-Kyu Kim, Hanyi Yu, Vivian R. Summers, Kevin J. Donaldson, Salma Ferdous, Debresha Shelton, Nan Zhang, Micah A. Chrenek, Yi Jiang, Hans E. Grossniklaus, Jeffrey H. Boatright, Jun Kong, John M. Nickerson; Morphometric Analysis of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells From C57BL/6J Mice During Aging. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(2):32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.2.32.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To quantitatively evaluate the changes in orientation and morphometric features of mouse retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in different regions of the eye during aging.
We segmented individual RPE cells from whole RPE flatmount images of C57BL/6J mice (postnatal days 30 to 720) using a machine-learning method and evaluated changes in morphometric features, including our newly developed metric combining alignment and shape of RPE cells during aging.
Mainly, the anterior part of the RPE sheet grows during aging, while the posterior part remains constant. Changes in size and shape of the peripheral RPE cells are prominent with aging as cells become larger, elongated, and concave. Conversely, the central RPE cells maintain relatively constant size and numbers with aging. Cell count in the central area and the overall cell count (approximately 50,000) were relatively constant over different age groups. RPE cells also present a specific orientation concordance that matches the shape of the specific region of the eyeball. Those cells near the optic disc or equator have a circumferential orientation to cover the round shape of the eyeball, whereas those cells in the periphery have a radial orientation and corresponding radial elongation, the extent of which increases with aging and matches with axial elongation of the eyeball.
These results suggest that the fluid RPE morphology reflects various growth rates of underlying eyeball, and RPE cells could be classified into four regional classes (near the optic disc, central, equatorial, and peripheral) according to their morphometric features.
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