Purpose: Cataract surgery increases the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy (DR) and accelerates the progression of pre-existing DR. Recent evidence suggests that cataract surgery elicits retinal pro-inflammatory gene expression, although the underlying pathogenic mechanisms remain ill-defined. In this study, we investigated the effect of capsulotomy on visual function, retinal immune cell activation and photoreceptor stress in the Ins2Akita mice, a mouse model of Type-1 diabetes. Methods: Male heterozygous Ins2Akita mice (2 months of hyperglycemia) and C57BL/6J age-matched siblings were used in this study. An incision (1mm) was made in the peripheral cornea and Capsulotomy was performed in the anterior lens capsule of the right eye. Control mice received corneal incision without capsulotomy in the right eye. The unoperated left eyes were used as internal controls. Forty days following surgery, retinal function was assessed by electroretinography (ERG). Neuronal retinal damage and microglial activation were assessed by imunohistochemistry. Results: The Ins2Akita mice receiving capsulotomy presented lower scotopic a-wave, b-wave and oscillatory potentials amplitudes compared to other experimental groups. Fundus images, SD-OCT and H&E staining did not show significant changes between different groups. Immunostaining of Iba-1 and CD68 revealed exacerbated microglial activation and giant cell immune cell infiltration in eyes receiving capsulotomy in Ins2Akita mice. This was accompanied by a disruption of cone photoreceptor outer segments and abnormal rhodopsin expression at the outer nuclear layer. Conclusions: Our results suggest that capsulotomy induces retinal microglial activation and worsens retinal neuropathy in diabetic eyes.
|Publication status||Published - 8 May 2014|