Molecular mechanisms of photochemically induced posterior vitreous detachment

Ophthalmic Res. 1994;26(1):51-9. doi: 10.1159/000267374.


Vitreous gel contraction and syneresis, commonly associated with age- and disease-related posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), were induced by a hematoporphyrin (HP)-photosensitized reaction. Calf vitreous gel was irradiated by white light in the presence of HP. Gel weights of the vitreous samples after 24 h of irradiation decreased by 14%, the irradiated control without HP by 8% and the control with HP stored in the dark by 8%. No significant difference in vitreous gel compressibility was found between the irradiated controls and the irradiated samples. In separate experiments, collagen gel in a glass capillary and hyaluronic acid (HA) were irradiated with white light in the presence of HP. The control collagen gel (irradiated without HP and stored in the dark with HP) decreased in length by 0.6% after 96 h, the experimental gel with HP decreased in length by 1.3 and 1.9% after 24- and 96-hour irradiation by visible light, respectively. The irradiated HA monitored by high-performance liquid chromatography showed a molecular weight decrease in the HP-treated polymer. Because the HP-sensitized reaction predominantly produces singlet oxygen, collagen gel contraction and HA degradation, in this case, are likely caused by this active oxygen species.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Collagen / radiation effects
  • Eye Diseases / pathology
  • Eye Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hematoporphyrin Photoradiation
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / radiation effects
  • Hypertrophy
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Vitreous Body / pathology
  • Vitreous Body / physiopathology*
  • Vitreous Body / radiation effects


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Collagen