Light scattering in the C57BL/6 mouse lens

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To characterize inherent light scattering in the C57BL/6 mouse lens.


Lenses from 20 6-week-old female C57BL/6 mice were extracted from freshly enucleated globes and microsurgically cleaned of remnants of the ciliary body. Lens light scattering was measured quantitatively with a light dissemination meter (LDM). Morphological properties of the mouse lenses were documented using grid- and dark-field illumination photography. Analysis of variance was performed to establish variance for animals, variance between left and right eyes and variance for measurements.


Average inherent light scattering in the C57BL/6 mouse lens is 0.16 ± 0.02 tEDC (transformed equivalent diazepam concentration). The mean size of a mouse lens at 6 weeks is 1.9 mm in diameter. Two lenses featured pre-existing cortical lens opacities. Variance for animals was assessed to be 7.9 10− 4 tEDC2, variance for measurements was 1.6 10− 4 tEDC2, and variance between left and right eyes was 8.8 10− 4 tEDC2. The tolerance limit for non-pathological light scattering was determined to 0.26 tEDC. No significant difference in light scattering between left and right mouse lenses was found. The minimum number of C57BL/6 mice required for detection of a 10% experimentally induced change in light scattering intensity was estimated to be 50 for independent group experiments and 25 for paired design experiments.


The C57BL/6 mouse is a suitable animal in which to conduct experiments on light scattering or cataractogenesis with high precision at reasonable sample sizes. Before including C57BL/6 mice into a study on cataractogenesis, pre-existing lens opacities such as congenital cataract must be excluded.

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