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Ankita Kotnala, Srinivasan Senthilkumari, Gong Wu, Thomas G. Stewart, Christine A. Curcio, Nabanita Halder, Sundararajan Baskar Singh, Atul Kumar, Thirumurthy Velpandian; Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Human Donor Eyes Contains Higher Levels of Bisretinoids Including A2E in Periphery than Macula. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(6):6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.6.6.
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With age, human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) accumulates bisretinoid fluorophores that may impact cellular function and contribute to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Bisretinoids are comprised of a central pyridinium, dihydropyridinium, or cyclohexadiene ring. The pyridinium bisretinoid A2E has been extensively studied, and its quantity in the macula has been questioned. Age-changes and distributions of other bisretinoids are not well characterized. We measured levels of three bisretinoids and oxidized A2E in macula and periphery in human donor eyes of different ages.
Eyes (N = 139 donors, 61 women and 78 men, aged 40–80 years) were dissected into 8 mm diameter macular and temporal periphery punches. Using liquid chromatography – electrospray ionization – mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) and an authentic synthesized standard, we quantified A2E (ng). Using LC-ESI-MS and a 50-eye-extract of A2E, we semiquantified A2E and 3 other compounds (eye extract equivalent units [EEEUs): A2-glycerophosphoethanolamine (A2GPE), dihydropyridine phosphatidyl ethanolamine (A2DHPE), and monofuranA2E (MFA2E).
A2E quantities in ng and EEEUs were highly correlated (r = 0.97, P < 0.001). From 262 eyes, 5 to 9-fold higher levels were observed in the peripheral retina than in the macula for all assayed compounds. A2E, A2DHPE, and MFA2E increased with age, whereas A2GPE remained unaffected. No significant right-left or male-female differences were detected.
Significantly higher levels were observed in the periphery than in the macula for all assayed compounds signifying biologic differences between these regions. Levels of oxidized A2E parallel native A2E and not the distribution of retinal illuminance. Data will assist with the interpretion of clinical trial outcomes of agents targeting bisretinoid-related pathways.
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