T. Ehmke
J. Leckelt
M. Reichard
H. Weiss
M. Hovakimyan
A. Heisterkamp
O. Stachs
S. Baltrusch

In vivo nonlinear imaging of corneal structures with special focus on BALB/c and streptozotocin-diabetic Thy1-YFP mice

Experimental Eye Research
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Two-photon microscopy (TPM) allows high contrast imaging at a subcellular resolution scale. In this work, the microscopy technique was applied to visualize corneal structures in two mouse models (BALB/ c and B6.Cg-Tg(Thy1-YFP)16Jrs/J) in vivo. In particular, the transgenic Thy1-YFP mice expressing the yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in all motor and sensory neurons had been used for investigating the nerve fiber density in healthy and streptozotocin-diabetic mice. This model is clinically relevant since patients suffering from diabetes mellitus have a high risk to develop small fiber neuropathy. Nonlinear laser scanning microscopy displayed a reduction of nerve fiber density in streptozotocin-diabetic versus healthy mice and confirmed data obtained by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). In recent years, corneal CLSM was proved to be an appropriate non-invasive tool for an early diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy. Nevertheless, validation of the CLSM method for the clinical routine is currently a matter of investigation and requires confirmation by further studies and complementary techniques. Thus, the present study provides further evidence of corneal confocal microscopy as a promising technique for non-invasive detection of diabetic neuropathy. Information derived from these experiments may become clinically relevant and help to develop new drugs for treatment of diabetic neuropathy.