Retinal degenerative and hypoxic ischemic disease

Doc Ophthalmol. 2009 Feb;118(1):55-61. doi: 10.1007/s10633-008-9127-8. Epub 2008 May 16.

Abstract

A broad spectrum of retinal diseases affects both the retinal vasculature and the neural retina, including photoreceptor and postreceptor layers. The accepted clinical hallmarks of acute retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are dilation and tortuosity of the retinal vasculature. Additionally, significant early and persistent effects on photoreceptor and postreceptor neural structures and function are demonstrated in ROP. In this paper, we focus on the results of longitudinal studies of electroretinographic (ERG) and vascular features in rats with induced retinopathies that model the gamut of human ROP, mild to severe. Two potential targets for pharmaceutical interventions emerge from the observations. The first target is immature photoreceptors because the status of the photoreceptors at an early age predicts later vascular outcome; this approach is appealing as it holds promise to prevent ROP. The second target is the interplay of the neural and vascular retinal networks, which develop cooperatively. Beneficial pharmaceutical interventions may be measured in improved visual outcome as well as lessening of the vascular abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroretinography
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ischemia*
  • Rats
  • Retina / physiopathology
  • Retinal Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / physiopathology*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / prevention & control
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology

Substances

  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A