Submitted to: Photochemistry and Photobiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2008
Publication Date: 1/1/2009
Citation: Mukherjee, P., Bose, S., Hurd, A.A., Adhikary, R., Schonenbrucher, H., Hamir, A.N., Richt, J.A., Casey, T.A., Rasmussen, M.A., Petrich, J.W. 2009. Monitoring the Accumulation of Lipofuscin in Aging Murine Eyes by Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 85(1):234-238. Interpretive Summary: The removal of central nervous system (CNS) tissue, including eyes, from slaughter cattle older than 30 months is an important required safeguard for preventing potential contamination of food destined for human consumption with the infectious agent believed to cause Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). We are examining the potential of a fluorescent pigment, lipofuscin, as a marker for the real-time detection of CNS which can be used to ensure removal during slaughter. In this study we found that the amount of lipofuscin in the part of the eye called the retina was related to the age of the mice and that the type of lipfuscin in mouse eyes was different from lipofuscin in sheep and cattle eyes. This demonstrates that, in addition to being a marker for CNS, lipofuscin may also be useful for determining the age of animals. This work is an important first step for characterizing the distribution and amount of lipofuscin in CNS in animals of different ages. This is useful information for scientists, regulatory agencies, and the meat industry whose goals are to determine the age of cattle and ensure the removal of CNS from animal older than 30 months and for preventing CNS contamination of human food.
Technical Abstract: The integrated fluorescence of murine eyes is collected as a function of age. This fluorescence is attributed to pigments generally referred to as lipofuscin and is observed to increase with age. No difference in fluorescence intensity is observed between the eyes of males or females. This work provides a benchmark for further studies that are planned in order to use such signatures as markers of central nervous system (CNS) tissue or even of diseased CNS tissue and provides a basis for determining the age of a healthy animal.