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Jost Hillenkamp, Ali A. Hussain, Timothy L. Jackson, Joanna R. Cunningham, John Marshall; The Influence of Path Length and Matrix Components on Ageing Characteristics of Transport between the Choroid and the Outer Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(5):1493-1498. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0765.
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purpose. To determine the relative influence of path length and matrix components on the movement of small solutes and water between the choroid and the outer retina.
methods. Human and bovine Bruch’s membrane-choroid (BC) tissue samples were mounted in modified Ussing chambers, and the diffusion of taurine and hydraulic conductivity (Lp) was determined. In humans, diffusion of taurine was determined as a function of age of the donor. The relative contribution of Bruch’s membrane in the BC complex to transport processes was measured after its removal by laser ablation. Similarly, the effect of choroidal path length was determined. In humans, tracking the trend of age-related thinning provided samples of various path lengths. In young bovine animals (≤2 years old), choroidal thickness was adjusted by laser ablation.
results. Diffusion of taurine across human BC decreased linearly from 162.7 to 105.9 nanomoles/h per 3 mm between 10 and 90 years of age (P < 0.05). Ablation of Bruch’s membrane increased diffusion of taurine from 129 to 287.9 nanomoles/h per 4 mm in human (donor age 55, 74, and 82 years; P < 0.005) but caused no statistically significant change in bovine BC. Diffusion of taurine across bovine BC was greater in samples with partially ablated choroid (218 nanomoles/h per 4 mm) than in normal control samples (128.75 nanomoles/h per 4 mm). Lp was not measurable in bovine samples after complete ablation of Bruch’s membrane, but did not change significantly as the choroid thinned.
conclusions. The data suggest that both path length and matrix components contribute to the decline of diffusion of small solutes across BC with age. The importance of matrix components was also demonstrated in restricting the movement of water while choroidal thickness played little if any role.
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