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Shaomei Wang, Maria Paz Villegas–Pérez, Manuel Vidal–Sanz, Raymond D. Lund; Progressive Optic Axon Dystrophy and Vascular Changes in rd Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(2):537-545.
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purpose. To examine how the vascular plexuses in the rd mouse retina
are affected by the loss of photoreceptors and how this compares with
the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat. To examine whether the
profound effects of vascular pathology on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs)
and their axons seen in RCS rats are also found in rd mice.
methods. Vascular patterns were studied in flatmounted and sectioned retinas
using either nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
phosphate(NADPH)-diaphorase histochemistry or vessel filling with
horseradish peroxidase. Optic axons were visualized using RT97 (an
antibody against the 200-kDa neurofilament subunit), and RGCs were
labeled by retrograde transport of fluorescence label, the Fluorogold,
applied to the superior colliculus.
results. The present study showed that in the rd mouse, similar
to the RCS rat, vascular complexes developed in association with
retinal pigment epithelial cells at the outer border of the retina. The
number and distribution of complexes were very different from the rat,
but as in the rat, progressive axonal dystrophy was seen in the optic
fiber layer. RGC loss, rather than being local was more broadly
distributed, but some, at least, appeared to be secondary to axonal
dystrophy caused by vessels supplying vascular formation.
conclusions. Photoreceptor loss in the rd mouse leads to RGC axonal
dystrophy and loss. The lesser degree and different distribution of RGC
loss caused by abnormal vasculature associated with vascular formations
in the outer retina in the rd mouse may be due to the
early atrophy of the deep vascular plexus in this
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