Imaging corneal pathology in a transgenic mouse model using nonlinear microscopy.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of biomedical optics, Volume 11, Issue 1, p.014013 (2006)


Animals, Biological Markers, Cornea, Corneal Diseases, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton, Nonlinear Dynamics, Transcription Factors


A transgenic mouse model with a Clim [co-factor of LIM (a combination of first letters of Lin-11 (C. elegans), ISL1 (rat), and Mec-3 (C. elegans) gene names) domain proteins] gene partially blocked in the epithelial compartment of its tissues is used to establish the sensitivity of intrinsic reflectance nonlinear optical microscopy (NLOM) to stromal and cellular perturbations in the cornea. Our results indicate dysplasia in the squamous epithelium, irregular collagen arrays in the stroma, and a compromised posterior endothelium in the corneas of these mice. As suggested by biochemical data, the collagen alterations are likely due to collagen III synthesis and deposition during healing and remodeling of transgenic mice corneal stromas. All of the topographic features seen in NLOM images of normal and aberrant corneas are confirmed by coregistration with histological sections. In this work, we also use ratiometric redox fluorometry based on two-photon excited cellular fluorescence from reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)(P)H and oxidized flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) to study mitochondrial energy metabolism. Employing this method, we detect higher metabolic activity in the endothelial layer of cornea compared to an epithelial layer located further away from the metabolites. The combination of two-photon excited fluorescence (TPF) with second harmonic generation (SHG) signals allows imaging to aid in understanding the relationship between alternation of specific genes and structural changes in cells and extracellular matrix.

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