Controlling retinal pigment epithelium injury after experimental detachment of the retina

Maria Iribarne, M. Valeria Canto-Soler, Vanesa Torbidoni, Angela M. Suburo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Damage induced by detachment of the neural retina and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) can be reduced by dark adaptation. The authors evaluated the influence of the duration of dark adaptation, time of day, and modification of the melatonin-dopamine pathway on acute RPE lesions induced by mechanical detachment. METHODS. BALB/c mice were studied at different times of day and different periods of dark adaptation. Some mice were treated with melatonin or sulpiride, a D2 dopamine receptor antagonist. Enucleated eyes and different saline solutions were used in experiments ex vivo. Retinal detachments in vivo were made by subretinal injections of hyaluronic acid. RPE cell damage was quantitatively evaluated with a dye exclusion procedure, and their viability was tested by preservation of tight junctions in culture. Lectin histochemistry was used to examine the interphotoreceptor matrix QPM). RESULTS. Significant propidium iodide (PI) incorporation in RPE cells was detected after ex vivo separation during daytime, but it was very low when detachment took place at night after 24 to 48 hours of dark adaptation. PI exclusion was achieved during daytime after a single hour of dark adaptation when mice were pretreated with melatonin or sulpiride. Reduction of RPE cell damage was accompanied by decreased lectin binding to cone sheaths. CONCLUSIONS. A combination of time of day and length of dark adaptation decreased damage induced by detachment of the retina ex vivo and in vivo. Melatonin or sulpiride could replace these environmental factors. Therefore, melatonin and dopamine pathways might be involved in the control of IPM properties and retina/RPE interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1348-1354
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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