A population study of common ocular abnormalities in C57BL/6N rd8 mice

Bret A. Moore, Michel J. Roux, Lionel Sebbag, Ann Cooper, Sydney G. Edwards, Brian C. Leonard, Denise M. Imai, Stephen Griffey, Lynette Bower, Dave Clary, K. C.Kent Lloyd, Yann Hérault, Sara M. Thomasy, Christopher J. Murphy, Ala Moshiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to quantify the frequency and severity of ocular abnormalities affecting wild-type C57BL/6N mice, the most common strain used worldwide for the creation of single-gene knockouts. METHODS. A total of 2773 animals (5546 eyes) were examined at one colony at UC Davis and in three more colonies at the Institut Clinique de la Souris in Strasbourg, France. Mice were examined at 15 to 16 weeks postnatal age by performing anterior segment biomicroscopy, posterior segment examination by indirect ophthalmoscopy, intraocular pressure measurement, and optical coherence tomography of anterior and posterior segment structures. RESULTS. Common ocular findings in the C57BL/6N strain included corneal deposits (3%), increased optical density of the anterior lens capsule (67%), punctate nuclear cataracts (98%), vitreous crystalline deposits (61%), hyaloid vascular remnant (6%), and retinal dysplasia attributed to the rd8 mutation (58%). Interestingly, retinal dysplasia was more common in male mice in all four breeding colonies evaluated in this study. The thickness of ocular tissues and compartments were measured by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, including the central cornea, anterior chamber, vitreous, and retinal layers. Intraocular pressure was measured by rebound tonometry. CONCLUSIONS. Ocular abnormalities are common in anterior and posterior segments of the C57BL/6N mouse, the most common background on which single-gene knockout mice have been made. It is important that vision scientists understand the extent and variability of ocular findings associated with this particular genetic background of mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2252-2261
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Genetic diseases
  • Knockout animals
  • Morphometry
  • Mouse models
  • Optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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