JOURNAL ARTICLE

Fundus autofluorescence findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment

Roberta Secondi, Jian Kong, Anna M Blonska, Giovanni Staurenghi, Janet R Sparrow
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2012, 53 (9): 5190-7
22786896

PURPOSE: Fundus autofluorescence (fundus AF) changes were monitored in a mouse model of retinal detachment (RD).

METHODS: RD was induced by transscleral injection of hyaluronic acid (Healon) or sterile balanced salt solution (BSS) into the subretinal space of 4-5-day-old albino Abca4 null mutant and Abca4 wild-type mice. Images acquired by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (Spectralis HRA) were correlated with spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), infrared reflectance (IR), fluorescence spectroscopy, and histologic analysis. Results. In the area of detached retina, multiple hyperreflective spots in IR images corresponded to punctate areas of intense autofluorescence visible in fundus AF mode. The puncta exhibited changes in fluorescence intensity with time. SD-OCT disclosed undulations of the neural retina and hyperreflectivity of the photoreceptor layer that likely corresponded to histologically visible photoreceptor cell rosettes. Fluorescence emission spectra generated using flat-mounted retina, and 488 and 561 nm excitation, were similar to that of RPE lipofuscin. With increased excitation wavelength, the emission maximum shifted towards longer wavelengths, a characteristic typical of fundus autofluorescence.

CONCLUSIONS: In detached retinas, hyper-autofluorescent spots appeared to originate from photoreceptor outer segments that were arranged within retinal folds and rosettes. Consistent with this interpretation is the finding that the autofluorescence was spectroscopically similar to the bisretinoids that constitute RPE lipofuscin. Under the conditions of a RD, abnormal autofluorescence may arise from excessive production of bisretinoid by impaired photoreceptor cells.

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