Changes of the vasculature and innervation in the anterior segment of the RCS rat eye

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Investigating the anterior eye segment vasculature and innervation of dystrophic RCS rats, two major unique findings were observed: in the iris, young adult animals with retinal dystrophy showed an increase in substance P nerve fibres and a dilation of arterioles and capillaries. This finding continued during ageing. In the pars plana region, the surface covered by venules decreased continuously with age. In older animals, this decrease was parallelled by a local decrease of sympathetic TH-positive nerve fibres supplying these venules. For both conditions, no comparable data exists so far in the literature. They might point to a unique situation in the anterior eye segment of the dystrophic RCS rat.

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