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Category: Angiogenesis and Neovascularization
Animals used for research:   Mouse, Rat  

This model is based on the neonatal rodent exposure to hyperoxia during retinal vasculature development (Smith et al., 1994). Hyperoxia causes depletion of capillaries and upon return to normoxic conditions leads to ischemia and proliferative retinopathy.

Indications: retinopathy of prematurity, diabetes, retinal ischemia.

Our oxygen-induced retinopathy model has been validated using a reference compound that provides benchmark values for comparison of the efficacy of test compounds. Please see our latest description on differences between mice and rats as well as in vivo imaging (fluorescein angiography and spectral domain optical coherence tomography) and functional (electroretinography) assessment's results from the rat oxygen-induced retinopathy model.


Animal species

Mice and rats

Method of induction

Exposure to high oxygen levels during retinal vasculature development

Follow-up period

Typically 5-6 days after the animals are returned into normoxic condition

Route of compound administration

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

  1.  Morphological assessment of retinal vasculature using confocal microscopy:
    • Avascular area/vascular obliteration,
    • Area of neovascular tufts,
    • Microglial activation.
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Experimentica Ltd. uses state-of-the-art morphological analysis enabling precise detection of pathological changes

Representative raw (left column) and analyzed (on the right) confocal images of isolectin B4 stained P17 mouse retinas. The mice were untreated, vehicle-treated (intravitreal injection), and reference compound-treated (intravitreal injection). The quantified areas for vascular obliteration (in blue) and neovascular tufts (in red) are shown on the right.


  1. Vähätupa M, Uusitalo-Järvinen H, Järvinen T, Uusitalo H, Kalesnykas G. Intravitreal injection of PBS reduces retinal neovascularization in the mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model. ARVO 2016, abstract no.: 3649.
  2. Ragauskas S, Kielczewski E, Vance J, Kaja S, Kalesnykas G. In Vivo Multimodal Imaging and Analysis of Mouse Laser-Induced Choroidal Neovascularization Model. J Vis Exp (2018). PubMed PMID: 29443029
  3. Kinnunen K, Heinonen SE, Kalesnykas G, Laidinen S, Uusitalo-Järvinen H, Uusitalo H, Ylä-Herttuala S. LDLR-/-ApoB100/100 mice with insulin-like growth factor II overexpression reveal a novel form of retinopathy with photoreceptor atrophy and altered morphology of the retina. Mol Vis. (2013). 19:1723-33. PubMed PMID: 23922490
  4. Viita H, Kinnunen K, Eriksson E, Lähteenvuo J, Babu M, Kalesnykas G, Heikura T, Laidinen S, Takalo T, Ylä-Herttuala S. Intravitreal adenoviral 15-lipoxygenase-1 gene transfer prevents vascular endothelial growth factor A-induced neovascularization in rabbit eyes. Hum Gene Ther (2009).1679-86. PubMed PMID: 19694557.
  5. Kinnunen K, Kalesnykas G, Mähönen AJ, Laidinen S, Holma L, Heikura T, Airenne K, Uusitalo H, Ylä-Herttuala S. Baculovirus is an efficient vector for the transduction of the eye: comparison of baculovirus- and adenovirus-mediated intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor D gene transfer in the rabbit eye. J Gene Med (2009). 11:382-9. PubMed PMID: 19263462.


  1. Smith LEH, Wesolowski E, McLellan A, Kostyk SK, D’Amato R, Sullivan R, and D’Amore PA. Oxygen-induced retinopathy in the mouse. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1994, 35:101-111.


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