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Zhuo Shao, Allison L. Dorfman, Swathi Seshadri, Mikheil Djavari, Elsa Kermorvant-Duchemin, Florian Sennlaub, Martine Blais, Anna Polosa, Daya R. Varma, Jean-Sébastien Joyal, Pierre Lachapelle, Pierre Hardy, Nicholas Sitaras, Emilie Picard, Joseph Mancini, Przemyslaw Sapieha, Sylvain Chemtob; Choroidal Involution Is a Key Component of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(9):6238-6248. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-6742.
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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a major cause of visual handicap in the pediatric population. To date, this disorder is thought to stem from deficient retinal vascularization. Intriguingly, functional electrophysiological studies in patients with mild or moderate ROP and in the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model in rats reveal central photoreceptor disruption that overlies modest retinal vessel loss; a paucity of retinal vasculature occurs predominantly at the periphery. Given that choroidal circulation is the major source of oxygen and nutrients to the photoreceptors, the authors set out to investigate whether the choroidal vasculature system may be affected in OIR.
Rat models of OIR treating newborn animals with 80% or 50/10% alternated oxygen level for the first two postnatal weeks were used to mimic ROP in humans. Immunohistology staining and vascular corrosion casts were used to investigate the vessel layout of the eye. To investigate the effect of 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-PGJ2 (15d-PGJ2; a nonenzymatic product of prostaglandin D2) on endothelial cells, in vitro cell culture and ex vivo choroid explants were employed and intravitreal injections were performed in animals.
The authors herein demonstrate that deficient vascularity occurs not only in the retinal plexus but also in the choroid. This sustained, marked choroidal degeneration is specifically confined to central regions of the retina that present persistent photoreceptor loss and corresponding functional deficits. Moreover, the authors show that 15d-PGJ2 is a prominent contributor to this choroidal decay.
The authors demonstrate for the first time pronounced, sustained choroidal vascular involution during the development of ROP. Findings also suggest that effective therapeutic strategies to counter ROP should consider choroidal preservation.
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