Diverse vascular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, occlusion of retinal veins or arteries and ocular ischemic syndrome can lead to retinal ischemia. To investigate pathological mechanisms of retinal ischemia, relevant experimental models need to be developed. Anatomically, a main retinal blood supplying vessel is the ophthalmic artery (OpA) and OpA originates from the internal carotid artery of the common carotid artery (CCA). Thus, disruption of CCA could effectively cause retinal ischemia. Here, we established a mouse model of retinal ischemia by transient bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (tBCCAO) to tie the right CCA with 6-0 silk sutures and to occlude the left CCA transiently for 2 seconds via a clamp, and showed that tBCCAO could induce acute retinal ischemia leading to retinal dysfunction. The current method reduces reliance on surgical instruments by only using surgical needles and a clamp, shortens occlusion time to minimize unexpected animal death, which is often seen in mouse models of middle cerebral artery occlusion, and maintains reproducibility of common retinal ischemic findings. The model can be utilized to investigate the pathophysiology of ischemic retinopathies in mice and further can be used for in vivo drug screening.
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