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Yeni H. Yücel, Qiang Zhang, Robert N. Weinreb, Paul L. Kaufman, Neeru Gupta; Atrophy of Relay Neurons in Magno- and Parvocellular Layers in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus in Experimental Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(13):3216-3222.
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purpose. To determine whether in glaucoma there is atrophy of relay neurons in
magnocellular and/or parvocellular lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN)
layers projecting to the visual cortex and to compare the degree of
neuronal atrophy in magnocellular layers with that in parvocellular
methods. Seven cynomolgus monkeys with unilateral experimentally induced
glaucoma and five control monkeys were studied. The left LGN neurons in
magnocellular layer 1 and parvocellular layers 4 and 6, connected to
the right glaucomatous eye were examined. Immunocytochemistry with
antibody to parvalbumin was used to specifically label relay neurons
connecting to the visual cortex. Neuronal cell body cross-sectional
area was estimated using unbiased point-counting methodology.
Experimental and control groups were compared using t-tests. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) tests were used
to compare the percentage of decrease in mean neuronal area between
layers 1, 4, and 6, as a function of percentage of optic nerve fiber
loss or mean IOP. There was significant correlation between percentage
of optic nerve fiber loss and mean IOP.
results. The mean cross-sectional area of relay neurons in magnocellular layer 1
and parvocellular layers 4 and 6 were significantly decreased in
glaucoma compared with controls by 28%, 37%, and 45%, respectively.
Neuronal area decreased in a linear fashion, with increasing optic
nerve fiber loss or increasing mean IOP for layers 1, 4, and 6. The
percentage of neuronal shrinkage in each of parvocellular layers 4 and
6, as a function of optic nerve fiber loss (P =
0.05; P = 0.001, respectively) or mean IOP
(P = 0.046; P = 0.0008,
respectively), was greater than that seen in magnocellular layer 1.
conclusions. Relay neurons in the LGN, which project to the visual cortex, undergo
significant shrinkage in glaucoma, and neurons in parvocellular layers
undergo significantly more shrinkage than neurons in magnocellular
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