Retinal vasculature develops in a highly orchestrated three-dimensional (3-D) sequence. The stages of retinal vascularization are highly susceptible to oxygen perturbations. We demonstrate that optical tissue clearing of intact rat retinas and light-sheet microscopy provides rapid 3-D characterization of vascular complexity during retinal development. Compared with flat mount preparations that dissect the retina and primarily image the outermost vascular layers, intact cleared retinas imaged using light-sheet fluorescence microscopy display changes in the 3-D retinal vasculature rapidly without the need for point scanning techniques. Using a severe model of retinal vascular disruption, we demonstrate that a simple metric based on Sholl analysis captures the vascular changes observed during retinal development in 3-D. Taken together, these results provide a methodology for rapidly quantifying the 3-D development of the entire rodent retinal vasculature.
- image acquisition/recording
- image analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering