Lens regeneration can be studied in whole animals following removal of the original lens (lentectomy). However, culturing a whole animal can be impractical for assays involving small molecule inhibitors or proteins. Ex vivo eye tissue culture is an alternative approach for examining lens regeneration. The ex vivo culture system offers certain advantages when compared to the in vivo regeneration assay, as the percentage of cases showing lens differentiation can exceed that seen in whole animals. This culture system also allows for the treatment of eye tissues in small volumes, which helps ensure reproducibility and reduces the amount (and cost) of small-molecule inhibitors or exogenous proteins, etc., necessary to conduct an experiment. Additionally, different eye tissues can be combined, such as nontransgenic and transgenic tissues (e.g., eyecup and cornea) that carry reporters or inducible transgenes. This approach represents a very useful tool in the analysis of lens regeneration or for simply culturing specific eye tissues, and can be used to culture either Xenopus laevis or Xenopus tropicalis eye tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)