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thumbnail eye 4x thumbnail eye 10x
thumbnail eye 20x thumbnail eye 40x

The mouse, like other rodents, has almost spherical eyes. The interior of the mouse eye is mostly occupied by the nearly spherical lens, with the vitreous body filling the space between lens and retina. The opaque sclera covers the posterior part of the eye; the transparent cornea the anterior portion. The mouse cornea, consists of, from outside to inside, stratified squamous epithelium, lamina propria, Descemet’s membrane, and endothelium. The choroids (have no tapetum lucidum in the mouse), the ciliary body, and the iris form the vascular tunic or uvea. In all mice with the exception of albino strains, the choroid, the ciliary body, the iris, and the retinal pigment epithelium contain pigment. The retina comprises retinal pigment epithelium, photoreceptor cell layer (containing primarily rods), outer nuclear layer (containing the nuclei of the photoreceptor cells), outer plexiform layer, inner nuclear layer (containing intermediate neurons), inner plexiform layer, and ganglion cell layer. The outer and inner plexiform layers contain dendrites and axons. Like other nocturnal animals, the mouse has no macula lutea in its retina. The mouse eye is surrounded by accessory structures that provide nutrition, protection, and lubrication of the eyeball, including conjunctiva, eyelids, nictitating membrane (third eyelid), Harderian gland, and Meibomian glands. The nictitating membrane is a translucent fold of the conjunctiva, allowing the mouse to see through it, and is also found in some other mammals as well as in reptiles and birds. The Harderian gland surrounds the optic nerve, while the Meibomian glands are located on the conjunctiva of the eyelids.

The 2X micrograph is a cross section of the eye of an albino mouse and shows that the almost spherical lens occupies most of the vitreous cavity. In addition to the eye, the 2X micrograph also displays several accessory structures: the upper and lower eyelid, the nictitating membrane, and the Harderian gland. The 10X micrograph exhibits the Harderian gland and the posterior side of the eye in more detail, while the 20X micrograph offers details of the conjunctiva and the cornea at the anterior side of the eye. The 40X micrograph shows various layers of the retina.

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