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G Donati, C J Pournaras, G P Pizzolato, M Tsacopoulos; Decreased nitric oxide production accounts for secondary arteriolar constriction after retinal branch vein occlusion.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(7):1450-1457.
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PURPOSE: After retinal branch vein occlusion (BVO), the arteriole crossing the occluded territories is often constricted. This constriction persists up to several weeks and is correlated with the development of extended territories of nonperfused capillaries. These are results of an investigation supporting the hypothesis that decrease in the production of nitric oxide (NO) accounts for the observed arteriolar constriction. METHODS: Preretinal [NO] was measured using an NO microprobe in the anesthetized miniature pigs, before and during the first 4 hours after experimental branch vein occlusion. Modifications of arteriolar diameter were correlated to preretinal [NO] changes. The retinal arteriolar sensitivity to constitutive NO was checked by applying preretinal puff injections of nitro-L-arginine (L-NA) after both systemic hypoxia and branch vein occlusion. RESULTS: Two hours after branch vein occlusion there was a 73.7 +/- 4% decrease in preretinal [NO] and a simultaneous 25.4 +/- 3.4% decrease in the diameter of the arteriole in the affected territory. Both persisted for at least 4 hours after branch vein occlusion. Applying a puff of L-NA to an arteriole previously dilated by systemic hypoxia induced a vasoconstriction. However, no arteriolar constriction was observed when a puff was applied to an arteriole after branch vein occlusion. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that experimental branch vein occlusion induces in the affected retina an impairment in the release of constitutive NO and an arteriolar constriction, which, in turn, contributes to the development of hypoxia in tissue and neuronal swelling and death in the inner retina.
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