A mouse model of retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury through elevation of intraocular pressure

Matthew J. Hartsock, Hongkwan Cho, Lijuan Wu, Wan Ju Chen, Junsong Gong, Elia J. Duh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Retinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is a pathophysiological process contributing to cellular damage in multiple ocular conditions, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vascular occlusions. Rodent models of I/R injury are providing significant insights into mechanisms and treatment strategies for human I/R injury, especially with regard to neurodegenerative damage in the retinal neurovascular unit. Presented here is a protocol for inducing retinal I/R injury in mice through elevation of intraocular pressure (IOP). In this protocol, the ocular anterior chamber is cannulated with a needle, through which flows the drip of an elevated saline reservoir. Using this drip to raise IOP above systolic arterial blood pressure, a practitioner temporarily halts inner retinal blood flow (ischemia). When circulation is reinstated (reperfusion) by removal of the cannula, severe cellular damage ensues, resulting ultimately in retinal neurodegeneration. Recent studies demonstrate inflammation, vascular permeability, and capillary degeneration as additional elements of this model. Compared to alternative retinal I/R methodologies, such as retinal arterial ligation, retinal I/R injury by elevated IOP offers advantages in its anatomical specificity, experimental tractability, and technical accessibility, presenting itself as a valuable tool for examining neuronal pathogenesis and therapy in the retinal neurovascular unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere54065
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number113
StatePublished - Jul 14 2016


  • Intraocular pressure
  • Ischemia
  • Issue 113
  • Medicine
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuron
  • Neurovascular unit
  • Reperfusion
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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