Effect of Monocular Deprivation on Rabbit Neural Retinal Cell Densities.
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Purpose: To describe the effect of monocular deprivation on densities of neural retinal cells in rabbits. Methods: Thirty rabbits, comprised of 18 subject and 12 control animals, were included and monocular deprivation was achieved through unilateral lid suturing in all subject animals. The rabbits were observed for three weeks. At the end of each week, 6 experimental and 3 control animals were euthanized, their retinas was harvested and processed for light microscopy. Photomicrographs of the retina were taken and imported into FIJI software for analysis. Results: Neural retinal cell densities of deprived eyes were reduced along with increasing period of deprivation. The percentage of reductions were 60.9% (P < 0.001), 41.6% (P = 0.003), and 18.9% (P = 0.326) for ganglion, inner nuclear, and outer nuclear cells, respectively. In non-deprived eyes, cell densities in contrast were increased by 116% (P < 0.001), 52% (P < 0.001) and 59.6% (P < 0.001) in ganglion, inner nuclear, and outer nuclear cells, respectively. Conclusion: In this rabbit model, monocular deprivation resulted in activity-dependent changes in cell densities of the neural retina in favour of the non-deprived eye along with reduced cell densities in the deprived eye.