Detailed functional and structural characterization of a macular lesion in a rhesus macaque
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Publication type
's-Gravenhage ,
Veterinary medicine
Source (journal)
Documenta ophthalmologica : the journal of clinical electrophysiology of vision / International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. - 's-Gravenhage, 1938, currens
125(2012) :3 , p. 179-194
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Purpose Animal models are powerful tools to broaden our understanding of disease mechanisms and to develop future treatment strategies. Here we present detailed structural and functional findings of a rhesus macaque suffering from a naturally occurring bilateral macular dystrophy (BMD), partial optic atrophy and corresponding reduction of central V1 signals in visual fMRI experiments when compared to data in a healthy macaque (CTRL) of similar age. Methods Retinal imaging included infrared and autofluorescence recordings, fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) on the Spectralis HRA + OCT platform. Electroretinography included multifocal and Ganzfeld-ERG recordings. Animals were killed and eyes analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Results Angiography showed reduced macular vascularization with significantly larger foveal avascular zones (FAZ) in the affected animal (FAZBMD = 8.85 mm2 vs. FAZCTRL = 0.32 mm2). OCT showed bilateral thinning of the macula within the FAZ (total retinal thickness, TRTBMD = 174 ± 9 µm) and partial optic nerve atrophy when compared to control (TRTCTRL = 303 ± 45 µm). Segmentation analysis revealed that inner retinal layers were primarily affected (inner retinal thickness, IRTBMD = 33 ± 9 µm vs. IRTCTRL = 143 ± 45 µm), while the outer retina essentially maintained its thickness (ORTBMD = 141 ± 7 µm vs. ORTCTRL = 160 ± 11 µm). Altered macular morphology corresponded to a preferential reduction of central signals in the multifocal electroretinography and to a specific attenuation of cone-derived responses in the Ganzfeld electroretinography, while rod function remained normal. Conclusion We provided detailed characterization of a primate macular disorder. This study aims to stimulate awareness and further investigation in primates with macular disorders eventually leading to the identification of a primate animal model and facilitating the preclinical development of therapeutic strategies.