Experimental retinal reattachment: a new perspective

Mol Neurobiol. 2003 Oct;28(2):159-75. doi: 10.1385/MN:28:2:159.


In the feline model, retinal detachment initiates a cascade of changes that include photoreceptor- cell "deconstruction," apoptotic death of some photoreceptors, neurite outgrowth from second- and third-order neurons, remodeling of photoreceptor synaptic terminals, and Müller-cell gliosis. We have previously shown that reattachment within 24 h halts or reverses many of these presumed detrimental changes. However, in patients with retinal detachments, reattachment cannot always be performed within this 24-h window. Moreover, recovery of vision following successful reattachment surgery in the macula is often imperfect. Here, we examine the ability of relatively long-term reattachment (28 d) to stop or reverse several cellular events that occur at 3 d of detachment. In contrast to earlier studies of reattachment, which focused on the regeneration of outer segments, we focus our attention here on other cellular events such as neuronal remodeling and gliosis. Some of these changes are reversed by reattachment, but reattachment itself appears to stimulate other changes that are not associated with detachment. The implications of these events for the return of vision are unknown, but they do indicate that simply reattaching the retina does not return the retina to its pre-detachment state within 28 d.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gliosis / pathology
  • Gliosis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / pathology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiopathology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Retinal Degeneration / etiology*
  • Retinal Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Retinal Degeneration / prevention & control
  • Retinal Detachment / complications*
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology
  • Retinal Detachment / therapy*