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Nathan J. Spix, Lei-Lei Liu, Zhijing Zhang, Joshua P. Hohlbein, Cameron L. Prigge, Shravan Chintala, Christophe P. Ribelayga, Dao-Qi Zhang; Vulnerability of Dopaminergic Amacrine Cells to Chronic Ischemia in a Mouse Model of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(7):3047-3057. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19346.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Retinal dopamine deficiency is a potential cause of myopia and visual deficits in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We investigated the cellular mechanisms responsible for lowered levels of retinal dopamine in an oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model of ROP.
Retinopathy was induced by exposing mice to 75% oxygen from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P12. Oxygen-induced retinopathy and age-matched control mice were euthanized at P12, P17, P25, or P42 to P50. Immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and biochemical approaches were used to determine the effect of OIR on the structure and function of dopaminergic amacrine cells (DACs).
The total number of DACs was unchanged in OIR retinas at P12 despite significant capillary dropout in the central retina. However, a significant loss of DACs was observed in P17 OIR retinas (in which neovascularization was maximal), with the cell loss being more profound in the central (avascular) than in the peripheral (neovascular) regions. Cell loss was persistent in both regions at P25, at which time retinal neovascularization had regressed. At P42, the percentage of DACs lost (54%) was comparable to the percent decrease in total dopamine content (53%). Additionally, it was found that DACs recorded in OIR retinas at P42 to P50 had a complete dendritic field and exhibited relatively normal spontaneous and light-induced electrical activity.
The results suggest that remaining DACs are structurally and functionally intact and that loss of DACs is primarily responsible for the decreased levels of retinal dopamine observed after OIR.
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