Visible-Light Optical Coherence Tomography Fibergraphy of the Tree Shrew Retinal Ganglion Cell Axon Bundles

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 May 18:2023.05.16.541062. doi: 10.1101/2023.05.16.541062.


We seek to develop techniques for high-resolution imaging of the tree shrew retina for visualizing and parameterizing retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon bundles in vivo. We applied visible-light optical coherence tomography fibergraphy (vis-OCTF) and temporal speckle averaging (TSA) to visualize individual RGC axon bundles in the tree shrew retina. For the first time, we quantified individual RGC bundle width, height, and cross-sectional area and applied vis-OCT angiography (vis-OCTA) to visualize the retinal microvasculature in tree shrews. Throughout the retina, as the distance from the optic nerve head (ONH) increased from 0.5 mm to 2.5 mm, bundle width increased by 30%, height decreased by 67%, and cross-sectional area decreased by 36%. We also showed that axon bundles become vertically elongated as they converge toward the ONH. Ex vivo confocal microscopy of retinal flat-mounts immunostained with Tuj1 confirmed our in vivo vis-OCTF findings.

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