This communication describes the sequence of clinical and histologic inflammatory changes in the normal eyes of newborn, 8- and 10-day old, and adult rabbits. There was no distinct evidence of inflammation in newborn and young animals; however, by day 28, an appreciable level of conjunctival inflammation was evident, as was a degree of limbal vascularity. The fornix, conjunctiva, and limbus of adult rabbits demonstrated the greatest degree of inflammatory reactivity. Pathogenetically, this inflammation is probably related to immune and toxic stimuli in the exogenous environment. These findings are particularly significant in toxicity testing utilizing the ostensibly normal eye. Since the normal rabbit eye demonstrates an appreciable low-grade inflammation, the germ-free animal eye offers the only accurate index for testing the toxicity of surface agents.
Aronson SB, Horton RC. Mechanisms of the Host Response in the EyeVII. The Normal Rabbit Eye in Anterior Ocular Inflammation. Arch Ophthalmol. 1971;85(3):306-308. doi:10.1001/archopht.1971.00990050308013