Tonopen measurement of intraocular pressure in mice

Herbert A. Reitsamer, Jeffrey W. Kiel, Joseph M. Harrison, Nancy L. Ransom, Stuart J. McKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Purpose. To standardize a method of non-invasive measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP) in mice. Methods. Cannulated-eye study: IOP was measured simultaneously with a Tonopen and by direct cannulation of the vitreous compartment while pressure was manipulated in steps between 10 and 45 mmHg by a saline reservoir via a second vitreal cannula (five mice, one rat). Non-cannulated-eye study: Tonopen and servo-null measurements were performed in independent groups (48 mice) to verify Tonopen measurements in non-cannulated-eyes. Topical brimonidine (0.15%) was used to decrease IOP. Results. In the rat, there was a similar relationship between Tonopen readings and direct measurements via cannulation of the eye as previously reported. Although readings from mice eyes were higher in variability than those obtained from the rat, the measurements were reproducible and the correlation between the invasive and the non-invasive methods was good (r=0·97). The IOP lowering effect of brimonidine was detected with Tonopen as well as servo-null measurements (p<0·001) and the results with both techniques were similar. Conclusion. The Tonopen can be used for rapid and reproducible measurements of IOP in mice. The method is easy to apply and can provide a useful means for IOP measurement in mouse models of induced ocular hypertension, in knock-out and transgenic mice, or in pharmacological studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-804
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Brimonidine
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Mouse
  • Servo-null
  • Tonopen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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