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J. M. Flinn, K. Cano, E. Gideons, J. Koscho, J. Ablett, B. F. Jones, E. van Kuyk, I. Lengyel; Trace Metal Distribution and Concentration in Sub-RPE Deposits and Bruch’s Membrane in Post Mortem Human Tissues. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1756.
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The presence of several trace metal has been described in sub-RPE deposits. In our present study we determined the distribution and concentration of zinc, copper, iron and several other trace metals in both peripheral and macular sub-RPE deposits from human donor eyes.
Frozen donor eyes were used from the Moorfields Eye Hospital and Montana Eye Banks. Samples from regions of the peripheral and central retinae were dissected. Following the removal of the neuronal retina, the retinal pigment epithelial cells and the choroid the remaining choroidal microcapillaries/Bruch’s membrane/sub-RPE deposit complex was analyzed by microprobe synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (uSXRF) at the X27A beam line at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
We identified the presence of several trace elements in sub-RPE deposits as well as Bruch’s membrane both at the periphery end in the macula. The most highly concentrated trace metal was zinc reaching maximal concentrations of several hundred ppm. Copper enrichment was one order of magnitude lower. Many but not all sub-RPE deposits contained iron and other trace metals.
Zinc, copper and other trace elements are enriched in sub-RPE deposists suggesting that their accumulation may play a role in the development and/or progression of AMD. The exact role for trace element accumulation in the disease process, however, is yet to be determined.
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