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W K O'Steen, J E Donnelly; Antagonistic effects of adrenalectomy and ether/surgical stress on light-induced photoreceptor damage.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1982;22(1):1-7.
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Light-induced damage to retinal photoreceptors in influenced by the endocrine status of the animal during the period of exposure. Experimental manipulation of the pituitary gland and of prolactin levels has been shown to affect retinal damage in rats exposed to visible light. When rats are experimentally stressed, prolactin secretion from the pituitary gland occurs as does secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the release of adrenal cortical hormones. Since prolactin appears to influence retinal damage and since stressed animals have increased serum levels of prolactin, a comparison of photoreceptor damage in animals in which the adrenal glands were removed or which had been experimentally stressed was undertaken in this study. Adrenalectomized rats had thicker outer nuclear layer (ONL) measurements than those found in sham-operated animals. Stressed rats had severely damaged retinas with cystic degeneration and significantly reduced ONL thickness measurements as compared to retinas of unstressed and adrenalectomized rats. Therefore hormones of the pituitary-adrenal system appear to be involved in the damage to the retina by light, and this response may be related to an interaction or synergism between the adrenal gland, stress, and prolactin secretion.
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