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Degenerative effects in rat eyes after experimental ocular hypertension

G. Scarsella, M. Nebbioso, S. Stefanini, N. Pescosolido
  • G. Scarsella
    University Sapienza of Rome, Italy
  • S. Stefanini
    Affiliation not present
  • N. Pescosolido
    University Sapienza of Rome, Italy


This study was used to evaluate the degenerative effects on the retina and eye-cup sections after experimental induction of acute ocular hypertension on animal models. In particular, vascular events were directly focused in this research in order to assess the vascular remodeling after transient ocular hypertension on rat models. After local anaesthesia by administration of eye drops of 0.4% oxibuprocaine, 16 male adult Wistar rats were injected in the anterior chamber of the right eye with 15 µL of methylcellulose (MTC) 2% in physiological solution. The morphology and the vessels of the retina and eye-cup sections were examined in animals sacrificed 72 h after induction of ocular hypertension. In retinal fluorescein angiographies (FAGs), by means of fluorescein isothiocyanate-coniugated dextran (FITC), the radial venules showed enlargements and increased branching, while the arterioles appeared focally thickened. The length and size of actually perfused vessels appeared increased in the whole superficial plexus. In eye-cup sections of MTC-injected animals, in deep plexus and connecting layer there was a bigger increase of vessels than in controls. Moreover, the immunolocalization of astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) revealed its increased expression in internal limiting membrane and ganglion cell layer, as well as its presence in Müller cells. Finally, the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was found to be especially expressed by neurones of ganglion cell layer, both in control and in MTC-injected eyes. The data obtained in this experimental model on the interactions among glia, vessels and neurons should be useful to evaluate if also in glaucomatous patients the activation of vessel-adjacent glial cells might play key roles in following neuronal dysfunction.


angiogenesis, Bandeira simplicifolia isolectin B4 labelling, Glaucoma, Glial fibrillary acidic protein immunolocalization, VEGF immunolocalization

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Submitted: 2012-05-28 09:45:40
Published: 2012-10-08 15:09:30
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Copyright (c) 2012 G. Scarsella, M. Nebbioso, S. Stefanini, N. Pescosolido

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