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Category: Neuroprotection
Animals used for research:  Mouse 

For more than five decades light damage in rodents has remained one of the most popular models mimicking human retinal degenerations such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).1, 2 The main feature of this model is synchronous induction of apoptosis in photoreceptor cells, providing an ideal time window to dissect pathological pathways leading to photoreceptor loss.

Indications: Neuroprotection, retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration


Animal species


Method of induction

Exposure to bright light

Follow-up period

Up to 7 days

Route of compound administration

Topical (e.g. eye drops), subretinal, intravitreal, systemic

  1. In vivo imaging:
    • spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT),
  2. In vivo functional assessment,
  3. Morphological assessment,
  4. Molecular biology (ELISA, Western blotting, qPCR).
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Experimentica Ltd. uses state-of-the-art in vivo imaging methodologies, which allow the longitudinal evaluation of pathological changes

Micrographs taken using SD-OCT at baseline, one day after exposure to bright light (1d), and seven days after exposure to bright light (Kalesnykas et al., ARVO 2016 poster). Note the thinning of outer nuclear layer and photoreceptor segment layers 7 days after exposure to bright light.

Retinal thickness as assessed using SD-OCT. A statistically significant decrease in the outer nuclear layer thickness in mice exposed to 9,000 lux and 19,000 lux of light intensity as compared to animals kept uner animal facility light. In addition, 7.5-month-old mice had a more severe degeneration than 3-month-old mice.


  1. Kalesnykas G, Ragauskas S, Kaja S, Tanila H, Leinonen H. Age-related differences in light sensitivity in Balb/c mice. ARVO 2016 poster presentation.


  1. Noell, WK, VS Walker, BS Kang, and S Berman. Retinal Damage by Light in Rats. 1966, Oct 5 (5): 450–73.
  2. Hadziahmetovic M, Kumar U, Song Y, Grieco S, Song D, Li Y, Tobias JW, Dunaief JL. Microarray analysis of murine retinal light damage reveals changes in iron regulatory, complement, and antioxidant genes in the neurosensory retina and isolated RPE. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Aug 7;53(9):5231-41.