Characterizing retinal vascular development in New Zealand Obese mice


Julia Klein

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023



JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2023, The Jackson Laboratory


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an increasingly prevalent condition characterized by the presence of several coincident metabolic disorders. Those with MetS have an increased risk for eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy: one of the leading causes of irreversible vision loss in U.S. adults. Current mouse models of diabetic retinopathy poorly reflect human pathology. New Zealand Obese (NZO) mice are an inbred strain of mice that present with many of the components of MetS and some mice develop diabetes. In this paper, we characterize retinal vasculature development in NZO and B6 mice using immunohistochemical, histological, and in vivo retinal imaging approaches. Our work indicates that NZO mice have both a superficial and deeper layer vascular developmental delay relative to C57BL/6J mice. Furthermore, results suggest age-associated changes in peripheral vascular area and suggest a possible sex-specific trend of age-associated peripheral retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in NZO mice. However, more research is necessary to better understand the mechanisms that influence these cell types and the interactions between them. Taken together, this work provides a foundation for future research on retinal vascular development and retinal ganglion cell loss in NZO animals.

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