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Objective—To determine whether glutamate contents are decreased in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of retinas of DBA/2J mice with glaucoma, compared with unaffected control mice.

Sample Population—20 eyes from DBA/2J mice (9-week-old mice [n = 8] and 4- [4], 6- [4], and 12-month-old [4] mice) and 17 eyes from control CD-1 (7) and C57/BL6 (10) mice of similar age.

Procedure—After euthanasia, the eyes were rapidly dissected and fixed. Serial 0.5-μm sections were prepared from eyecups and stained with toluidine blue (to identify damaged cells) or immunogold (to localize glutamate). Microscopic images were captured digitally for comparison; immunostaining densities were assessed via special software.

Results—In the GCL of control mice, few cells appeared damaged; large amounts of glutamate were detected in 83 ± 8.3% of cells. In DBA/2J mice ≥ 9 weeks of age, damaged neurons were observed in retinal sections; the level of glutamate immunoreactivity was high in a few cells near areas of damage (13 ± 3.2%) and in many cells in less-damaged regions of the same sections (82 ± 4.2%). Many neurons with low amounts of glutamate in damaged regions did not appear damaged histologically.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In retinas of young DBA/2J mice, damaged and undamaged GCL cells had decreased levels of immunostaining for glutamate, compared with less-damaged adjacent regions or retinas from control mice. The loss of neuronal glutamate in damaged retinal regions suggests that glutamate is contributing to early retinal damage prior to changes in intraocular pressure.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To use PCR assays to determine the prevalence of feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), Chlamydophila felis, and Mycoplasma spp DNA in conjunctival cells collected from cats with and without conjunctivitis; to compare results of conventional and real-time fluorogenic PCR assays for amplification of FHV-1 DNA; and to determine whether copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA are correlated with conjunctivitis.

Animals—55 cats with active conjunctivitis, 39 healthy cats that never had conjunctivitis, and 32 cats with a history of conjunctivitis that had been resolved for at least 3 months.

Procedures—Samples were obtained by rolling cotton-tipped applicators on the ventral conjunctiva of awake cats treated topically with proparacaine. The DNA was extracted from the swab specimens and assessed in PCR assays to detect DNA of FHV-1 (fluorogenic PCR assay and conventional PCR assay), Mycoplasma spp (conventional PCR assay), and C felis (conventional PCR assay).

Results—Overall prevalence rates of FHV-1, C felis, and Mycoplasma spp as assessed by the conventional PCR assays were 6.7%, 3.2%, and 9.6%, respectively. Percentage concordance between conventional PCR and fluorogenic PCR assays for FHV-1 was 92.5%. There were no significant differences among the 3 groups of cats for the mean copy number of FHV-1 divided by the copy number of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceMycoplasma spp were the most prevalent organism detected and was associated with conjunctivitis. This study could not confirm that there are increased copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA in cats with conjunctivitis, compared with the copy numbers for cats without conjunctivitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research