Purpose: Vitreous and retinal amino-acid concentrations were evaluated in a primate model of central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) to study the role of glutamate excitotoxicity in acute retinal ischaemia. Methods: Unilateral, acute CRAO was produced by temporary clamping of the central retinal artery for 190 min in four elderly rhesus monkeys. Fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and electroretinogram were performed before and during CRAO, and after unclamping the artery. Vitreous samples were obtained before and after CRAO in both eyes, and analysed for 13 amino-acid concentrations using high-pressure liquid chromatography. The animals were killed 350 min after retinal reperfusion, and the retinal tissue was submitted for amino-acid analysis. Results: In all four eyes, the macula showed the 'cherry red spot'. The CRAO was confirmed by fluorescein angiography and decreased b-wave on electroretinogram. Retinal histology confirmed ischaemic changes in the inner retina. Changes in all 13 vitreous amino-acid concentrations after CRAO (including glutamate) were not significantly different between study and control eyes (P = 0.09 to 0.82). All retinal amino-acid concentrations (including glutamate) were not significantly different between two eyes (P = 0.07-0.93). Conclusions: In the primate model of acute inner retinal ischaemia induced by transient CRAO, we were unable to detect significantly elevated concentrations of vitreous and retinal glutamate. Our primate model has the advantage of closely modelling the CRAO in humans. Further basic and clinical studies are needed to elucidate the role of glutamate excitotoxicity in retinal ischaemia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge the excellent technical support provided by Ms Donna McAllister and Trish Duffel. This work was supported in part by University of Iowa College of Medicine Research Award, the Shaffer International Research Fellowship from Glaucoma Research Foundation, and unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, New York. SSH is a Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems