open access

Vol 74, No 1 (2015)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2015-03-02
Submitted: 2014-03-23
Accepted: 2014-04-09
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Occlusion of retinal capillaries caused by glial cell proliferation in chronic ocular inflammation

E. Bianchi, G. Ripandelli, J. Feher, A. M. Plateroti, R. Plateroti, I. Kovacs, P. Plateroti, S. Taurone, M. Artico
DOI: 10.5603/FM.2015.0006
·
Pubmed: 25792393
·
Folia Morphol 2015;74(1):33-41.

open access

Vol 74, No 1 (2015)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2015-03-02
Submitted: 2014-03-23
Accepted: 2014-04-09

Abstract

The inner blood-retinal barrier is a gliovascular unit in which glial cells surround capillary endothelial cells and regulate retinal capillaries by paracrine interactions. During chronic ocular inflammation, microvascular complications can give rise to vascular proliferative lesions, which compromise visual acuity. This pathologic remodelling caused by proliferating Müller cells determines occlusion of retinal capillaries. The aim of the present study was to identify qualitative and quantitative alterations in the retinal capillaries in patients with post-traumatic chronic ocular inflammation or post-thrombotic vascular glaucoma. Moreover, we investigated the potential role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and pro-inflammatory cytokines in retinal inflammation. Our electron microscopy findings demonstrated that during chronic ocular inflammation, thickening of the basement membrane, loss of pericytes and endothelial cells and proliferation of Müller cells occur with irreversible occlusion of retinal capillaries. Angiogenesis takes place as part of a regenerative reaction that results in fibrosis. We believe that VEGF and pro-inflammatory cytokines may be potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of this disease although further studies are required to confirm these findings.

Abstract

The inner blood-retinal barrier is a gliovascular unit in which glial cells surround capillary endothelial cells and regulate retinal capillaries by paracrine interactions. During chronic ocular inflammation, microvascular complications can give rise to vascular proliferative lesions, which compromise visual acuity. This pathologic remodelling caused by proliferating Müller cells determines occlusion of retinal capillaries. The aim of the present study was to identify qualitative and quantitative alterations in the retinal capillaries in patients with post-traumatic chronic ocular inflammation or post-thrombotic vascular glaucoma. Moreover, we investigated the potential role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and pro-inflammatory cytokines in retinal inflammation. Our electron microscopy findings demonstrated that during chronic ocular inflammation, thickening of the basement membrane, loss of pericytes and endothelial cells and proliferation of Müller cells occur with irreversible occlusion of retinal capillaries. Angiogenesis takes place as part of a regenerative reaction that results in fibrosis. We believe that VEGF and pro-inflammatory cytokines may be potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of this disease although further studies are required to confirm these findings.

Get Citation

Keywords

basement membrane, electron microscopy, Müller cells, immunohistochemistry, VEGF, PEDF, IL-1β, TNFα, TGFβ1

About this article
Title

Occlusion of retinal capillaries caused by glial cell proliferation in chronic ocular inflammation

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 74, No 1 (2015)

Pages

33-41

Published online

2015-03-02

DOI

10.5603/FM.2015.0006

Pubmed

25792393

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2015;74(1):33-41.

Keywords

basement membrane
electron microscopy
Müller cells
immunohistochemistry
VEGF
PEDF
IL-1β
TNFα
TGFβ1

Authors

E. Bianchi
G. Ripandelli
J. Feher
A. M. Plateroti
R. Plateroti
I. Kovacs
P. Plateroti
S. Taurone
M. Artico

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