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Bang V. Bui, Sandra M. Rees, Michelle Loeliger, Jacinta Caddy, Alexandra H. Rehn, James A. Armitage, Algis J. Vingrys; Altered Retinal Function and Structure after Chronic Placental Insufficiency. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(3):805-812.
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purpose. To consider whether growth restriction secondary to chronic placental
insufficiency results in postnatal deficits in retinal structure and
methods. Chronic placental insufficiency was induced just before midgestation in
guinea pigs through unilateral ligation of the uterine artery. Eight
weeks after birth, electroretinograms were recorded from prenatally
compromised (PC, n = 6) and control (n = 15) animals. Data were collected for b-wave amplitude and implicit
time, also the modeled receptoral (P3) response and
oscillatory potentials were extracted. After electroretinography,
retinas were prepared for structural analysis (PC, n = 6; control, n = 7). A separate cohort of PC (n= 8) and control (n = 9) animals underwent
tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity (TH-IR, dopaminergic neurons) and
nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d)
histochemistry (neuronal nitric oxide synthase, nNOS)—these being
markers of amacrine cell subpopulations.
results. Electroretinography revealed two PC guinea pigs with marked changes to
saturated receptoral amplitude
(Rm P3), sensitivity (log S) and postreceptoral waveforms. Grouped PC data
revealed significantly reduced Rm P3, whereas log S was not affected. The b-wave amplitudes were normal,
but b-wave implicit times were delayed (P < 0.05)
in PC animals. Amplitudes and peak times of oscillatory potentials were
also significantly reduced and delayed (P < 0.05).
Morphologic analysis revealed significant reductions in all cellular
and plexiform (synaptic) layers in both the central
(P < 0.05) and peripheral (P < 0.05) retina in PC animals. The outer retina, which contains the
photoreceptors and the outer plexiform layer was particularly affected.
The reduced growth of plexiform layers suggests a reduction in the
growth of the neuropile in PC animals compared with control animals.
The total number (P < 0.03) and density
(P < 0.05) of TH-IR neurons was reduced, whereas
the total number and density of nNOS-positive amacrine cells was not
significantly different between PC and control animals.
conclusions. Chronic placental insufficiency results in morphologic and functional
alterations to the retina. Electroretinogram deficits in PC animals
indicated both inner and outer retinal anomalies. Such affects could
contribute to the visual impairments reported in very-low-birth-weight
children, some of whom are growth restricted.
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