Experimental Eye Research
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), induced by the immunization of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), is related to human MOG antibody-associated disease (MOGAD). Neuroinflammation and demyelination of the optic nerve can lead to retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death and axonal damage in MOGAD. Here, we aimed to evaluate the structural changes in RGCs longitudinally by in vivo imaging in mice with RGCs expressing yellow fluorescent protein along the course of EAE. Successful induction of EAE was confirmed by the neurological function scores and histology analyses. The changes in the thickness of ganglion cell complex (GCC) layer and RGC survival and dendrites were monitored longitudinally along the course of EAE. Before the onset of EAE, there were no significant changes in the number and morphology of RGCs and the thickness of the GCC layer as compared to the mice without EAE induction. After the onset of EAE, the thickness of the GCC layer and the RGC number and dendritic network all gradually decreased along the course of EAE. Notably, dendritic shrinkage could be detected earlier than the thinning of the GCC layer. In summary, this study delineated the longitudinal profile of RGC structural changes in EAE mice, providing an assessment platform for monitoring outcomes of RGC treatments.