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Mouse models of ocular diseases

  • B. CHANG (a1), N.L. HAWES (a1), R.E. HURD (a1), J. WANG (a1), D. HOWELL (a1), M.T. DAVISSON (a1), T.H. RODERICK (a1), S. NUSINOWITZ (a2) and J.R. HECKENLIVELY (a3)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 December 2005

The Jackson Laboratory, having the world's largest collection of mouse mutant stocks and genetically diverse inbred strains, is an ideal place to discover genetically determined eye variations and disorders. In this paper, we list and describe mouse models for ocular research available from Mouse Eye Mutant Resource at The Jackson Laboratory. While screening mouse strains and stocks at The Jackson Laboratory (TJL) for genetic mouse models of human ocular disorders, we have identified numerous spontaneous or naturally occurring mutants. We characterized these mutants using serial indirect ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, electroretinography (ERG) and histology, and performed genetic analysis including linkage studies and gene identification. Utilizing ophthalmoscopy, electroretinography, and histology, to date we have discovered 109 new disorders affecting all aspects of the eye including the lid, cornea, iris, lens, and retina, resulting in corneal disorders, glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal degenerations. The number of known serious or disabling eye diseases in humans is large and affects millions of people each year. Yet research on these diseases frequently is limited by the obvious restrictions on studying pathophysiologic processes in the human eye. Likewise, many human ocular diseases are genetic in origin, but appropriate families often are not readily available for genetic studies. Mouse models of inherited ocular disease provide powerful tools for rapid genetic analysis, characterization, and gene identification. Because of the great similarity among mammalian genomes, these findings in mice have direct relevance to the homologous human conditions.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Bo Chang, Research Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609-1500, USA. E-mail:
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Visual Neuroscience
  • ISSN: 0952-5238
  • EISSN: 1469-8714
  • URL: /core/journals/visual-neuroscience
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