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Age-related changes in venous endothelial phenotype at human retinal artery-vein crossing points.

Abstract

PURPOSE
To investigate the venous endothelial phenotype at retinal artery-vein (AV) crossings and age-related changes in human cadaveric eyes.
METHODS
Eighteen human donor eyes free of known ocular diseases were divided into two groups according to age (≤30 and >50 years). The central retinal artery was cannulated and perfused with oxygenated Ringer's solution with 1% bovine serum albumin. The perfusate solutions were switched to fixative, membrane permeabilizing solution, and selected labeling solutions for microfilament F-actin and nucleic acid in vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells. The eyes were then immersion fixed and the retinas flat mounted. The venous endothelial cells were examined by confocal microscopy at the AV, pre-AV, and post-AV crossing regions.
RESULTS
There was no significant difference between the younger and older groups in endothelial cell length upstream or downstream from an AV crossing. At the AV crossing, the venous endothelial cells were shorter in the younger group and longer in the older group compared with those upstream or downstream from the AV crossing. Stress fibers were not frequently observed in the endothelial cells of younger donors. However, the older group had numerous stress fibers in their endothelia at AV crossing points.
CONCLUSIONS
Age-related phenotype changes in venous endothelial cells have been identified in the region of AV crossings providing supportive evidence for the hypothesis of age-related and site-specific changes in the vascular endothelial cells as an important factor contributing to the pathogenesis of branch retinal vein occlusion.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Yu PK, Tan PE, Morgan WH, Cringle SJ, McAllister IL, Yu DY

    Institution

    Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, ARC, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

    Source

    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 53:3 2012 pg 1108-16

    MeSH

    Adult
    Age Factors
    Aged
    Cell Shape
    Cell Size
    Endothelium, Vascular
    Eye Banks
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Microscopy, Confocal
    Middle Aged
    Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
    Phenotype
    Retinal Artery
    Retinal Vein
    Retinal Vein Occlusion
    Tissue Donors
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22273724