Development of a rabbit model of persistent hypotony without ciliary body injury

Ruijuan Zhao, Lixia Lin, Jieting Zeng, Fang Duan, Yao Yang, Shao Bo Su, Bingsheng Lou, Xiaofeng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to study the pathophysiological alterations of the ciliary body (CB) during persistent hypotony, it is necessary to develop an animal model without CB injury. In this study, we successfully established a modified model of persistent hypotony without CB injury in New Zealand rabbits. A 23-gauge pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) was performed and a trocar-formed fistula was allowed to remain in situ, to produce a continuous outflow of intraocular fluid. Both eyes underwent PPV with normal intraocular pressure (IOP); eyes with no surgical intervention were used as controls. The IOP was monitored and used to evaluate the reliability of the model. Secondary changes of hypotony were evaluated by slit-lamp biomicroscopy and B scans while morphological changes of the CB were observed by haematoxylin and eosin staining. The mean IOP in the hypotony groups were consistently lower than 6 mmHg. Furthermore, there were no significant differences in IOP between the PPV control group and normal eyes. Collectively, our data indicate that this model successfully simulates the secondary changes of hypotony, including a reduction in corneal size, corneal oedema, anterior chamber inflammation, morphological alterations of the CB, cataract, retinal detachment, and choroidal detachment. The morphological structure of the CB tissue changed dramatically after persistent hypotony, indicating that normal IOP may be required in order to maintain normal function in the CB. This model of persistent hypotony potentially represents a valuable tool for future studies aiming to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying CB dysfunction and other secondary changes that occur during hypotony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107858
JournalExperimental eye research
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Animal model
  • Ciliary body
  • Fistula
  • Hypotony
  • Secondary change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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