Quantitative biometric phenotype analysis in mouse lenses

Matthew A. Reilly, Usha P. Andley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The disrupted morphology of lenses in mouse models for cataracts precludes accurate in vitro assessment of lens growth by weight. To overcome this limitation, we developed morphometric methods to assess defects in eye lens growth and shape in mice expressing the αA-crystallin R49C (αA-R49C) mutation. Our morphometric methods determine quantitative shape and dry weight of the whole lens from histological sections of the lens. This method was then used to quantitatively compare the biometric growth patterns of lenses of different genotypes of mice from birth to 12 months. The wild type dry lens weights determined using the morphometric method were comparable to previously reported weights. Next we applied the method to assessing the lenses of αA-R49C knock-in mice, which exhibit decreased αA-crystallin protein solubility, resulting in a variety of growth abnormalities including early cataract formation, decreased eye and lens size, failure to form the equatorial bow region, and continued lens cell death, sometimes resulting in the entire loss of the lens and eye. Our morphometric methods reproducibly quantified these defects by combining histology, microscopy, and image analysis. The volume measurement accurately represented the total growth of the lens, whereas the geometric shape of the lens more accurately quantified the differences between the growth of the mutant and wild-type lenses. These methods are robust tools for measuring dry lens weight and quantitatively comparing the growth of small lenses that are difficult to weigh accurately such as those from very young mice and mice with developmental lens defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1046
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular vision
StatePublished - 2010


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