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May 1985

Lipid Keratopathy in Rabbits: An Animal Model System

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(5):726-730. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050050118030

• Rabbits rendered hypercholesterolemic on a high cholesterol diet while subjected to corneal suture placement to induce neovascularization made useful models for qualitatively and quantitatively studying lipid keratopathy. Forty rabbit eyes were subjected to placement of four sutures located between 1 and 4 mm from the limbus. The neovasculature grew at a constant rate of 0.24 mm/day, unaffected by serum cholesterol levels. Rabbits fed cholesterol prior to surgery were the earliest to display lipid keratopathy, followed by those who began cholesterol feedings on the day of surgery, and last by rabbits who began receiving high cholesterol food seven days following suture placement. A description of the corneal neovascularization process and histopathological and biochemical analyses of the induced lipid keratopathy are presented.