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Arthur J. Weber, Hao Chen, William C. Hubbard, Paul L. Kaufman; Experimental Glaucoma and Cell Size, Density, and Number in the Primate Lateral Geniculate Nucleus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(6):1370-1379.
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purpose. To examine the effects that elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), a
glaucoma risk factor, has on the size, density, and number of neurons
in the primate lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN).
methods. The monkey model of experimental glaucoma was combined with standard
histologic staining and analysis techniques. Fourteen animals were
results. Mean IOPs higher than 40 mm Hg for 2.5, 4, 8, and 24 weeks resulted in
reductions of 10% to 58% in the cross-sectional areas of LGN neurons
receiving input from the glaucomatous eye. Reductions for animals with
lower mean IOPs (37 and 28 mm Hg) for 16 and 27 weeks were 16% and
30%, respectively. Neurons receiving input from the normal eye also
were reduced in size (4–26%). No differential effect in cell size was
seen for magnocellular versus parvocellular neurons. Elevation of IOP
resulted in an increase in cell density in all layers of the LGN. The
increase was approximately two times greater in parvocellular (59%)
than magnocellular (31%) layers. When corrected for volumetric
shrinkage of the LGN, the estimated loss of neurons was approximately
four times greater in the magnocellular than parvocellular layers (38%
conclusions. Elevation of IOP affects the size, density, and number of neurons in
the LGN, and the volume of the nucleus itself. Although higher mean
pressures (more than 40 mm Hg) reduce the period during which these
changes occur, comparable damage can be achieved by even moderate
(28–37 mm Hg) levels of elevated IOP. On the basis of cell loss,
elevation of IOP appears to have a more profound degenerative effect on
the magnocellular than on the parvocellular regions of the
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