RETINAL ADHESIVENESS IN SURGICALLY ENUCLEATED HUMAN EYES

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Abstract

Purpose:

Retinal adhesion in rabbits and monkeys has been shown to involve the interphotoreceptor matrix and depend on environmental factors, such as temperature, pH, and calcium concentration. This study was designed to see whether these same factors modulate retinal adhesiveness in humans.

Methods:

Four surgically enucleated human eyes were studied. Strips of eyecup were placed in experimental baths shortly after enucleation to evaluate environmental conditions. Retinal adhesive strength was quantified by the amount of retinal pigment epithelial pigment adherent to retina peeled from strips of eyecup. Cone and rod sheaths of the interphotoreceptor matrix were studied by microscopic examination of samples stained with the lectins peanut and wheat germ agglutinin.

Results:

Retinal adhesiveness fell to 0 approximately 40 minutes after enucleation. Adhesive strength was maintained by cold temperature and was weakened by low pH or low calcium in the bath. Cone and rod matrix sheaths became stretched (indicating a bond) as outer segments and retinal pigment epithelium were peeled apart.

Conclusion:

Retinal adhesion in humans appears to involve similar mechanisms as in rabbits and monkeys.

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