June 1995
Volume 36, Issue 7
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Articles  |   June 1995
The effect of oxygen on vasoformative cell division. Evidence that 'physiological hypoxia' is the stimulus for normal retinal vasculogenesis.
Author Affiliations
  • T Chan-Ling
    Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • B Gock
    Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • J Stone
    Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1995, Vol.36, 1201-1214. doi:
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      T Chan-Ling, B Gock, J Stone; The effect of oxygen on vasoformative cell division. Evidence that 'physiological hypoxia' is the stimulus for normal retinal vasculogenesis.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(7):1201-1214.

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      © 2016 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the role of oxygen in normal retinal vasculogenesis. METHODS: A new preparation for studying cytogenesis in retinal wholemounts was developed. Nuclei of dividing cells were labeled with a monoclonal antibody to bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), and vascular cells were covisualized with Griffonia simplicifolia lectin. The topography and time course of vasculogenic cell division and vessel formation were determined in the kitten retina during normal development and under experimental hyperoxia and hypoxia. RESULTS: During normal development, vasculogenic cell division was maximal at the leading edge of the forming vessels. Normal vessel formation was initially proliferative, and cell division was high. However, after vessel formation occurred, which presumably relieved tissue hypoxia, the mitogenic process was markedly reduced, and many excess capillary segments underwent retraction. The rate of vasculogenic cell division and vessel formation increased when the inner layers of the retina were made avascular after exposure to hyperoxia, and it decreased when there was an increase in inspired oxygen. CONCLUSIONS: The authors have shown that between 17% and 45% oxygen, the extent of vasculogenic cell division is inversely proportional to the level of oxygen in the inspired gas mixture. They have further shown that dividing vascular cells have a peak density in a region proximal to the edge of the forming vasculature. The density is maximal between P7 and P8, a time when formation of photoreceptor outer segment begins, only a few days before the onset of retinal function. These results led the authors to conclude that the stimulus for normal vasculogenesis is a transient but physiological level of hypoxia induced by the increasing activity of retinal neurons.

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