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Proximal arterial vasoconstriction precedes regression of the hyaloid vasculature

J Browning, M E Reichelt, G A Gole, H Massa
Current Eye Research 2001, 22 (6): 405-11

PURPOSE: To determine whether constriction of proximal arterial vessels precedes involution of the distal hyaloid vasculature in the mouse, under normal conditions, and whether this vasoconstriction is less pronounced when the distal hyaloid network persists, as it does in oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR).

METHODS: Photomicrographs of the vasa hyaloidea propria were analysed from pre-term pups (1-2 days prior to birth), and on Days 1-11 post-birth. The OIR model involved exposing pups to approximately 90% O(2) from D1-5, followed by return to ambient air. At sampling times pups were anaesthetised and perfused with india ink. Retinal flatmounts were also incubated with FITC-lectin (BS-1, G. simplicifolia,); this labels all vessels, allowing identification of vessels not patent to the perfusate.

RESULTS: Mean diameter of proximal hyaloid vessels in pre-term pups was 25.44 +/- 1.98 microm; +/- 1 SEM). Within 3-12 hrs of birth, significant vasoconstriction was evident (diameter:12.45 +/- 0.88 microm), and normal hyaloid regression subsequently occurred. Similar vasoconstriction occurred in the O(2)-treated group, but this was reversed upon return to room air, with significant dilation of proximal vessels by D7 (diameter: 31.75 +/- 11.99 microm) and distal hyaloid vessels subsequently became enlarged and tortuous.

CONCLUSIONS: Under normal conditions, vasoconstriction of proximal hyaloid vessels occurs at birth, preceding attenuation of distal hyaloid vessels. Vasoconstriction also occurs in O(2)-treated pups during treatment, but upon return to room air, the remaining hyaloid vessels dilate proximally, and the distal vessels become dilated and tortuous. These observations support the contention that regression of the hyaloid network is dependent, in the first instance, on proximal arterial vasoconstriction.


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