Diffusion of O2 in the retina of anesthetized miniature pigs in normoxia and hyperoxia

Exp Eye Res. 1989 Sep;49(3):347-60. doi: 10.1016/0014-4835(89)90045-6.


Intraretinal oxygen tension (pO2) and local electroretinogram (ERG) were simultaneously measured in miniature pigs using double-barreled recess type microelectrodes. Transretinal pO2 profiles were recorded during normoxia and hyperoxia in areas close to (juxta-arteriolar) or far from (intervascular) retinal arterioles. In normoxia, in both areas, the pO2 decreased from the inner retina and the choroid towards the middle of the retina. In the inner retina the gradient of the juxta-arteriolar pO2 profile was steeper than that of the intervascular profile. This characteristic persisted during the breathing of 100% O2. Analysis of the pO2 profiles shows that, even in hyperoxia, the choroid cannot supply O2 to the whole retina. The results also support the conclusions of previous work (Riva, Pournaras and Tsacopoulos, 1986) indicating that in the normal retina it is not the O2 diffusing from the choroid to the retinal arterioles the induces vasoconstriction of these vessels. In the miniature pig this constriction appears to maintain inner retina tissue pO2 at a constant level during hyperoxia. From the pO2 transretinal profiles and previously published choroidal O2 fluxes and pO2 values near retinal vessels an explanatory working hypothesis is formulated according to which O2 consumption (qO2) of the outer retina increases during hyperoxia in the miniature pig.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diffusion
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Partial Pressure
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature / metabolism*


  • Oxygen