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G Donati, C J Pournaras, J L Munoz, S Poitry, C L Poitry-Yamate, M Tsacopoulos; Nitric oxide controls arteriolar tone in the retina of the miniature pig.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1995;36(11):2228-2237.
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PURPOSE: Experimental evidence indicates that the retinal microcirculation is mainly controlled by factors released from the tissue surrounding the arterioles. This study explores whether nitric oxide (NO), a possible factor, is released in the retina and controls the arteriolar tone. METHODS: Using a NO microprobe, the authors measured [NO] in the preretinal vitreous of miniature pigs as a function of distance from the retinal surface. Additionally, the NO-synthase inhibitor nitro-L-arginine was pressure injected. Finally, the retinal pool size of arginine and its biosynthesis from 14C(U)-glucose were biochemically assessed on retinal tissue and acutely isolated Müller cells. RESULTS: At the retinal surface, [NO] measured 6 to 9 microM, and, in the vitreous, it fell to zero approximately 180 microns away from the retina. Therefore, NO is degraded faster in the vitreous (65 to 80 microM.minute-1) than in aqueous solution. Light flicker stimulation of the dark-adapted retina induced a reversible increase of [NO] (approximately 1.6 microM). Preretinal juxta-arteriolar microinjections of nitro-L-arginine (0.6 mM) induced a segmental and reversible arteriolar vasoconstriction of 45%; in contrast, intravenous infusion of nitro-L-arginine had no measurable effect on arteriolar diameter. The retinal pool size of arginine was small (< or = 200 microM), but there was an important rate of arginine biosynthesis in Müller cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results strongly suggest that cells in the retina, other than endothelial cells, produce and release NO, which in turn controls the basal dilating arteriolar tone in the inner retina.
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