Connective tissue structure of the tree shrew optic nerve and associated ageing changes

Julie Albon, Sarah Farrant, Saeed Akbtar, Rob Young, Mike E. Boulton, Gillian Smith, Martin Taylor, Jez Guggenheim, James E. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

PURPOSE. To identify the structure and composition of the tree shrew optic nerve to determine its potential as a model for glaucoma. METHODS. Tree shrew optic nerves, aged 4 weeks to 5 years, were wax or cryoembedded for analysis of overall morphology and cellular (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP]) and extracellular matrix (collagen types I, III, IV, V, VI; fibronectin; and elastin) immunolocalization studies. In addition, transmission and scanning electron microscopy were performed. In vivo optic disc imaging was performed by HRT2 and fundus camera photography. RESULTS. The optic nerve of the tree shrew comprised regions comparable to the human prelaminar and lamina cribrosa (LC) in the optic nerve head and the retrolaminar region, immediately posterior. The multilayered connective tissue plates of tree shrew LC stretched across the optic nerve canal at the level of the sclera and consisted of collagen types I, III, IV, V, and VI; elastin; and fibronectin. Significant age-related alterations in connective tissue components were indicated. Connective tissue was present in the central retinal vessel sheaths and was identified as longitudinally oriented collagen fibrils in the retrolaminar optic nerve. GFAP immunofluorescence indicated a high concentration of astrocytic processes in the LC. Myelination of axons was evident in the retrolaminar optic nerve. Ultrastructural studies supported the structural organization and spatial distribution of connective tissue. CONCLUSIONS. In contrast to many rodent models of glaucoma, since the tree shrew optic nerve resembles that in humans, especially at the LC, the tree shrew offers an ideal opportunity to investigate glaucoma pathophysiology in a subprimate model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2134-2144
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Tupaiidae
Optic Nerve
Connective Tissue
Glaucoma
Collagen Type III
Elastin
Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
Optic Disk
Collagen Type I
Fibronectins
Retinal Vessels
Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy
Sclera
Waxes
Photography
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Extracellular Matrix
Axons
Rodentia
Collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Albon, J., Farrant, S., Akbtar, S., Young, R., Boulton, M. E., Smith, G., ... Morgan, J. E. (2007). Connective tissue structure of the tree shrew optic nerve and associated ageing changes. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 48(5), 2134-2144. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.06-0084

Connective tissue structure of the tree shrew optic nerve and associated ageing changes. / Albon, Julie; Farrant, Sarah; Akbtar, Saeed; Young, Rob; Boulton, Mike E.; Smith, Gillian; Taylor, Martin; Guggenheim, Jez; Morgan, James E.

In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Vol. 48, No. 5, 05.2007, p. 2134-2144.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Albon, J, Farrant, S, Akbtar, S, Young, R, Boulton, ME, Smith, G, Taylor, M, Guggenheim, J & Morgan, JE 2007, 'Connective tissue structure of the tree shrew optic nerve and associated ageing changes', Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 2134-2144. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.06-0084
Albon, Julie ; Farrant, Sarah ; Akbtar, Saeed ; Young, Rob ; Boulton, Mike E. ; Smith, Gillian ; Taylor, Martin ; Guggenheim, Jez ; Morgan, James E. / Connective tissue structure of the tree shrew optic nerve and associated ageing changes. In: Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 2007 ; Vol. 48, No. 5. pp. 2134-2144.
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AU - Smith, Gillian

AU - Taylor, Martin

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N2 - PURPOSE. To identify the structure and composition of the tree shrew optic nerve to determine its potential as a model for glaucoma. METHODS. Tree shrew optic nerves, aged 4 weeks to 5 years, were wax or cryoembedded for analysis of overall morphology and cellular (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP]) and extracellular matrix (collagen types I, III, IV, V, VI; fibronectin; and elastin) immunolocalization studies. In addition, transmission and scanning electron microscopy were performed. In vivo optic disc imaging was performed by HRT2 and fundus camera photography. RESULTS. The optic nerve of the tree shrew comprised regions comparable to the human prelaminar and lamina cribrosa (LC) in the optic nerve head and the retrolaminar region, immediately posterior. The multilayered connective tissue plates of tree shrew LC stretched across the optic nerve canal at the level of the sclera and consisted of collagen types I, III, IV, V, and VI; elastin; and fibronectin. Significant age-related alterations in connective tissue components were indicated. Connective tissue was present in the central retinal vessel sheaths and was identified as longitudinally oriented collagen fibrils in the retrolaminar optic nerve. GFAP immunofluorescence indicated a high concentration of astrocytic processes in the LC. Myelination of axons was evident in the retrolaminar optic nerve. Ultrastructural studies supported the structural organization and spatial distribution of connective tissue. CONCLUSIONS. In contrast to many rodent models of glaucoma, since the tree shrew optic nerve resembles that in humans, especially at the LC, the tree shrew offers an ideal opportunity to investigate glaucoma pathophysiology in a subprimate model.

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