July 1974
Volume 13, Issue 7
Articles  |   July 1974
Retinal Degeneration in Monkeys Induced by Deficiencies of Vitamin E or A
Author Affiliations
  • K. C. HAYES
    Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass. 02115
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 1974, Vol.13, 499-510. doi:
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      K. C. HAYES; Retinal Degeneration in Monkeys Induced by Deficiencies of Vitamin E or A. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1974;13(7):499-510.

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The effects of vitamin E or vitamin A deficiency on the retina were assessed in monkeys for as long as two and three-quarters years. A macular degeneration developed after two years in monkeys fed vitamin E-deficient diets. The lesion was characterized by focal, massive disruption of photoreceptor outer segments attributed to lipid peroxidation of these lipoprotein structures containing highly unsaturated fatty acids. The focal nature of the lesion precluded any evidence of clinical blindness. Vitamin A deficiency was typical of that described by others, and was accompanied by xerophthalmia, keratomalacia, and clinically impaired vision. Anatomic evidence suggested that the structural disruption of photoreceptors was more advanced in cones and was most pronounced in the macula with a lesser involvement of the peripheral retina.


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