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Studies in experimental ischemia models by permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) have reported reduced retinal electrophysiological function, coupled with inner retinal degeneration and gliosis. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that long-term (up to 14 days) BCCAO impairs oxygen delivery (DO), which affects oxygen metabolism (MO) and extraction fraction (OEF), electrophysiological function, morphology, and biochemical pathways. Twenty-one rats underwent BCCAO (N = 12) or sham surgery (N = 9) and were evaluated in separate groups after 3, 7, or 14 days. Electroretinography (ERG), optical coherence tomography, blood flow and vascular oxygen tension imaging, and morphological and biochemical evaluations were performed in both eyes. Reduced ERG b-wave amplitudes and delayed implicit times were reported at 3, 7, and 14 days following BCCAO. Total retinal blood flow, MO, and DO were reduced in all BCCAO groups. OEF was increased in both 3- and 7-day groups, while no significant difference was observed in OEF at 14 days compared to the sham group. At 14 days following BCCAO, total and inner retinal layer thickness was reduced, while the outer nuclear layer thickness and gliosis were increased. There was an increase in nuclei containing fragmented DNA at 3 days following BCCAO. The compensatory elevation in OEF following BCCAO did not meet the tissue demand, resulting in the subsequent reduction of MO. The associations between retinal MO, DO, and retinal function were shown to be significant in the sequelae of persistent ischemia. In sum, measurements of DO, MO, and OEF may become useful for characterizing salvageable tissue in vision-threatening pathologies.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Translational stroke research
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