A multi-layer model of retinal oxygen supply and consumption helps explain the muted rise in inner retinal PO(2) during systemic hyperoxia

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2002 May;132(1):61-6. doi: 10.1016/s1095-6433(01)00530-x.


A multi-layer mathematical model of oxygen supply and consumption in the rat retina is described. The model takes advantage of the highly layered structure of the retina and the compartmentalisation of the available oxygen sources. The retina is divided into eight layers, each with a distinct oxygen consumption or supply rate. When applied to the available data from intraretinal oxygen measurements in the rat under normal physiological conditions, a close fit between the model and the data was achieved (r(2)=0.98+0.005, n=6). The model was then used to investigate recent evidence of oxygen regulating mechanisms in the rat retina during systemic hyperoxia. Fitting our model to the experimental data (r(2)=0.988+0.004, n=25) allowed the relative oxygen delivery or consumption of the key retinal layers to be determined. Two factors combine to produce the relative stability of inner retinal oxygen levels in hyperoxia. The retinal layer containing the outer plexiform layer/deep retinal capillaries, switches from a net source to a net consumer of oxygen, and the oxygen consumption of the outer region of the inner plexiform layer increases significantly. The model provides a useful tool for examining oxygen consumption and supply in all retinal layers, including for the first time, those layers within the normally perfused inner retina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hyperoxia / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Partial Pressure
  • Rats
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retina / pathology*


  • Oxygen