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A. I. Ramirez, R. de Hoz, J. J. Salazar, B. Rojas, A. Redondo, M. Dai, T. Tejerina, A. Triviño, J. M. Ramirez; Statins Ameliorate Retinal Ultrastructural Changes in Hyperchoresterolemic Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5200.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the retinal changes in hypercholesterolemic rabbits after treatment with statins.
New Zealand rabbits were divided into four groups: Control (G1; n=10), fed a standard diet for 8 months; Hypercholesterolemic (G2, n=10), fed a 0.5% cholesterol-enriched diet for 8 months; Fluvastatin (G3, n=10), fed a 0.5% cholesterol-enriched diet for 8 months along with fluvastatin; Simvastatin (G4, n=10), fed a 0.5% cholesterol-enriched diet for 8 months along with simvastatin. Eyes were processed for transmission electron microscopy.
Overall, in comparison with hypercholesterolemic rabbits (G2), animals treated with statins (G3, G4) showed less severe alterations in their retinas. The cytoplasm of the retinal pigment epithelium contained fewer lipids in G3 and G4 than in G2. The necrosis observed in the different layers of the retina in G2 was less pronounced in G3 and G4. The apoptosis found in the nuclear layers in G2 was not present in statin treated animals. As in G2, astrocytes and Müller cells in G3 and G4 were reactive and filled up the empty spaces left by degenerated neurons; however, necrosis affecting macroglial cells were very scarce in G3 and G4. In statin treated animals, the plexiform layers and the nerve fibre layer had more axons and dendrites and the remaining axons were less oedematous than in G2. With regard to the retinal capillaries, the necrotic features observed in the endothelial cells in G2 were not found in G3 and G4, and their basal membranes were thinner.
Statins diminish ultrastructural retinal damage in hypercholesterolemic rabbit
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