Amino acid immunoreactivity in normal human retina and after brachytherapy

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We localised amino acids in the mid-peripheral aged human retina and a retina that had undergone radiation treatment 10 years earlier. The distribution pattern of glutamate, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), glycine, glutamine and taurine, reflected patterns established in the primate retina. The retina that had undergone radiation exposure displayed both anatomical and neurochemical remodelling. The proximal retina comprised around 40 to 45 per cent of the total retina and neuronal kinesis and aberrant neuronal projections were also present. Amino acid neurochemistry was strikingly different with Müller cells displaying GABA loading, glycinergic neurons displaced and displaying a very high level of glycine labelling. We conclude that radiation exposure triggered these changes in the human retina and likely reflects general remodelling of structure and function following ischaemic damage to endothelial cells.

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