Hypoxia precedes the development of experimental preretinal neovascularization.
BACKGROUND: Although the mechanism of preretinal neovascular growth in the cell-injected rabbit eye model is not known, it has been proposed that the initial vasodilation and eventual development of neovascularization may be attributable to inflammatory mediators. However, an alternative explanation involving hypoxia has not been considered. The purpose of this study was to measure preretinal oxygen tension prior to the development of preretinal neovascularization in the cell-injected rabbit eye. METHODS: In the rabbit, intravitreous injections of 250,000 homologous dermal fibroblasts were performed on one eye; the fellow (control) eye was injected with vehicle. Preretinal oxygen tension over the myelin wing was measured using 19F-NMR spectroscopy of a 30-microliters droplet of perfluorocarbon previously injected into the preretinal vitreous. RESULTS: Compared to control eyes, fibroblast-injected eyes showed a 1.7-fold decrease in preretinal oxygen tension from the first time studied (1 day after cell injection) through the development of visible neovascularization. Hypoxia occurred without coexisting ophthalmoscopic evidence of vascular occlusion or, on days 1 and 3 after cell injection, retinal detachment. CONCLUSION: This result demonstrates for the first time that preretinal hypoxia precedes the development of preretinal neovascularization in the fibroblast-injected rabbit eye.
Handa, JT; Berkowitz, BA; Wilson, CA; Ando, N; Sen, HA; Jaffe, GJ
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