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Olga Dembinska, Luz Marina Rojas, Sylvain Chemtob, Pierre Lachapelle; Evidence for a Brief Period of Enhanced Oxygen Susceptibility in the Rat Model of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(7):2481-2490.
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purpose. Findings in a previous study have shown that the retina of newborn rats exposed to hyperoxia during the first days of life sustain permanent functional (as determined with the rod ERG) and structural (as determined with histology) damage that appears to be determined by the level of retinal maturity reached at the time of oxygen exposure—the retinas of rat pups being more susceptible to hyperoxic shock during the second week of life than during the first week. Given that the cone ERG has been shown to mature later than the rod ERG, the purpose of the present study was to examine whether cone responses also demonstrates a similar maturational susceptibility to postnatal hyperoxia. Also examined was whether the oscillatory potentials (OPs) were affected by postnatal hyperoxia.
methods. Newborn rats were exposed to hyperoxia during selected postnatal day intervals either initiated at birth (early-onset exposure) or at a later postnatal age (late-onset exposure). Photopic and scotopic (mixed cone-rod) electroretinograms were recorded at 30 days.
results. Data analysis reveals that photopic and scotopic responses (b-wave and OPs) demonstrated a similar maturational susceptibility to postnatal hyperoxia, in which exposure regimens initiated during the second week of life were most detrimental to retinal function. The results also revealed a temporal window of enhanced oxygen susceptibility at approximately postnatal day 10. The duration of this window was longer when estimated with the scotopic responses, but the extent of the functional damage was more pronounced when estimated with the photopic signals. Finally, compared with the b-wave, the OPs, especially the short-latency OPs, were proportionally more affected.
conclusions. The results suggest that cone function is significantly more susceptible to postnatal hyperoxia than rod function, and the OPs appear to be the most susceptible ERG components, thus suggesting a differential susceptibility to oxygen toxicity of the different retinal components. However, despite a clear demonstration of its existence, the exact nature of the temporal window of enhanced oxygen susceptibility as well as a possible equivalence in other animal models of oxygen induced retinopathy, including the human form (retinopathy of prematurity), remains to be determined.
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