Studies of scleral biomechanical behavior related to susceptibility for retinal ganglion cell loss in experimental mouse glaucoma

Cathy Nguyen, Frances E. Cone, Thao D. Nguyen, Baiste Coudrillier, Mary E. Pease, Matthew R. Steinhart, Ericka N. Oglesby, Joan L. Jefferys, Harry A. Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To study anatomical changes and mechanical behavior of the sclera in mice with experimental glaucoma by comparing CD1 to B6 mice. Methods. Chronic experimental glaucoma for 6 weeks was produced in 2- to 4-month-old CD1 (43 eyes) and B6 mice (42 eyes) using polystyrene bead injection into the anterior chamber with 126 control CD1 and 128 control B6 eyes. Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurements were made with the TonoLab at baseline and after bead injection. Axial length and scleral thickness were measured after sacrifice in the CD1 and B6 animals and compared to length data from 78 eyes of DBA/2J mice. Inflation testing of posterior sclera was conducted, and circumferential and meridional strain components were determined from the displacement response. Results. Experimental glaucoma led to increases in axial length and width by comparison to fellow eyes (6% in CD1 and 10% in B6; all P < 0.03). While the peripapillary sclera became thinner in both mouse types with glaucoma, the remainder of the sclera uniformly thinned in CD1, but thickened in B6. Peripapillary sclera in CD1 controls had significantly greater temporal meridional strain than B6 and had differences in the ratios of meridional to effective circumferential strain from B6 mice. In both CD1 and B6 mice, exposure to chronic IOP elevation resulted in stiffer pressure-strain responses for both the effective circumferential and meridional strains (multivariable regression model, P = 0.01-0.03). Conclusions. Longer eyes, greater scleral strain in some directions at baseline, and generalized scleral thinning after glaucoma were characteristic of CD1 mice that have greater tendency to retinal ganglion cell damage than B6 mice. Increased scleral stiffness after glaucoma exposure in mice mimics findings in monkey and human glaucoma eyes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1780
Number of pages14
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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