02590-A: Histologic characterization of Golden Retriever Pigmentary Uveitis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,793
Wendy M. Townsend, DVM, MS; Purdue University
February 1, 2019 - December 31, 2022

Sponsor(s): Golden Retriever Foundation, Starlight Fund

Breed(s): Golden Retriever
Research Program Area: Ophthalmology
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Pigmentary uveitis affects an estimated 10% of senior Golden Retrievers and often results in blindness due to cataracts and glaucoma.  There are no current methods to prevent or reverse the disease. Clinically, a known risk factor for the development of glaucoma in dogs affected by pigmentary uveitis is the presence of an undefined, amorphous material in the eye. On histologic examination of affected eyes, the amorphous material has been noted within uveal cysts, surrounding uveal cysts, coating the lens, and free floating in the anterior chamber. The material blocks fluid flow within the eye resulting in glaucoma. Limited analysis has shown the material is unusual with features of both collagen and an acid. This amorphous material is considered to play a significant role in the pathology of pigmentary uveitis and associated glaucoma, but little is known about its chemical composition, structure, or tissue of origin. The objectives of this study are: 1) determine if all Golden Retrievers with pigmentary uveitis have this amorphous material within their eyes, or if only a specific subset; 2) define the chemical composition of the amorphous material; and 3) determine the ocular tissue producing the material. This information may play an important role to help develop preventative or therapeutic measures for pigmentary uveitis and define phenotype(s) for genetic studies.

This research is co-funded through the collaborative efforts of the Golden Retriever Foundation and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.


Townsend, W. M., Huey, J. A., McCool, E., King, A., & Diehl, K. A. (2020). Golden retriever pigmentary uveitis: Challenges of diagnosis and treatment. Veterinary Ophthalmology, 0, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1111/vop.12796

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