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Animal Models for Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) remains a major cause of visual impairment and a challenge for newborns worldwide. Our company is committed to establishing animal models for various types of ROP, aiming to help researchers better understand the pathogenesis of ROP, especially the mechanisms governing retinal angiogenesis. Our reliable experimental models allow researchers to explore the many factors that influence, for example, the role of oxygen, light conditions, and hyperglycemia in ROP development. In addition, these animal models can be used to evaluate antiangiogenic drugs to facilitate the development of new therapies for ROP and other vascular eye disorders.

Background

ROP is a multifactorial disease affecting the retina development in preterm infants, characterized by pathological angiogenesis or neovascularization (NV). Its incidence is increasing due to improved preterm infant survival. Prevention and treatment of ROP to improve preterm infant life quality have become the focus of global attention. Therefore, establishing suitable animal models of retinal NV has become a valuable tool to explore ROP mechanisms and evaluate the effects of its pharmacological treatment.

Animal models of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) similar to the human condition have been established in cats, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, and zebrafish. These animal models can reproduce some of the pathophysiological processes of ROP and be used to study retinal pathological NV and the molecular mechanisms involved and new putative therapies. With the widespread use of transgenic technology, OIR animal models have become more valuable for application.

Fig. 1 The mouse model of OIR.

Fig. 1 The mouse model of OIR. (Liu C H, et al., 2021)

Disease Modeling Services

Our team of experts has established OIR models in cats, rabbits, dogs, mice, and rats, the latter two receiving more attention due to their small size, rapid reproduction, variety of strains, more mature methods, and high success rates. This, together with the advances in genetic manipulation made in recent years, allows us to offer our clients ideal animal models for molecular genetic studies of ROP, especially rodent models.

  • The mouse model
    • The mouse OIR model
      We provide our clients with OIR mouse models, which are the most commonly used animal models for studying retinal neovascular diseases. The process of constructing this model is very similar to the occurrence and development of retinal neovascularization in human preterm infants. It has the advantages of a simple production method and good reproducibility.
    • IGF1-knockout mouse plus transgenic VEGF mouse model
      We provide our clients with mice in which the gene encoding insulin-like growth factor 1 is knocked out, and retinal neovascularization is inhibited. The pattern is similar to that of preterm infants with ROP.
  • The rat model
    • The rat model of neovascularization with corneal epithelium removal
      This is a well-characterized model and is considered to be suitable for preclinical studies.
    • The rat OIR model
      We help clients establish OIR rats using high or low-oxygen exposure, which is accepted as the most clinically relevant model. This ROP rat model closely mirrors the human condition, making it attractive for evaluating antiangiogenic compounds.
  • The zebrafish model
    Zebrafish are an alternative model for angiogenesis-dependent ocular diseases and drug screening. We help our clients generate adult zebrafish models of hypoxia-induced retinopathy and embryonic models of abnormal retinal angiogenesis.
  • Hyperglycemia-associated ROP models
    We provide hyperglycemia-associated retinopathy rat models and similar mouse models of hyperglycemia-associated ROP. Together these models may help elucidate the mechanisms of hyperglycemia-induced retinal damage in ROP.

Our team of experts offers disease modeling services for ROP, enabling the testing of potential therapies and assessment of their safety and efficacy. We also offer expertise in ocular drug delivery, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology. We can help clients design and execute preclinical studies that meet regulatory requirements and provide valuable data for clinical trials. If you are interested in our animal modeling services, please contact us for more information.

Reference

  • Liu, C. H.; Chen, J. Animal models of Retinopathy of Prematurity. A Quick Guide to Pediatric Retina. Springer, 2021.

All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.

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