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Hui Li, Bang V. Bui, Grant Cull, Fang Wang, Lin Wang; Glial Cell Contribution to Basal Vessel Diameter and Pressure-Initiated Vascular Responses in Rat Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(1):1-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20804.
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The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that retinal glial cells modify basal vessel diameter and pressure-initiated vascular regulation in rat retina.
In rats, L-2-aminoadipic acid (LAA, 10 nM) was intravitreally injected to inhibit glial cell activity. Twenty-four hours following injection, retinal glial intracellular calcium (Ca2+) was labeled with the fluorescent calcium indicator Fluo-4/AM (F4, 1 mM). At 110 minutes after injection, intraocular pressure (IOP) was elevated from 20 to 50 mm Hg. Prior to and during IOP elevation, Ca2+ and retinal vessel diameter were assessed using a spectral-domain optical coherence tomography/confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Dynamic changes in Ca2+ and diameter from IOP elevation were quantified. The response in LAA-treated eyes was compared with vehicle treated control eyes.
L-2-Aminoadipic acid treatment significantly reduced F4-positive cells in the retina (LAA, 16 ± 20 vs. control, 55 ± 37 cells/mm2; P = 0.02). Twenty-four hours following LAA treatment, basal venous diameter was increased from 38.9 ± 3.9 to 51.8 ± 6.4 μm (P < 0.0001, n = 20), whereas arterial diameter was unchanged (from 30.3 ± 3.5 to 30.7 ± 2.8 μm; P = 0.64). In response to IOP elevation, LAA-treated eyes showed a smaller increase in glial cell Ca2+ around both arteries and veins in comparison with control (P < 0.001 for both). There was also significantly greater IOP-induced vasoconstriction in both vessel types (P = 0.05 and P = 0.02, respectively; n = 6 each).
The results suggest that glial cells can modulate basal retinal venous diameter and contribute to pressure-initiated vascular responses.
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