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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107-117

Postnatal and aging-related changes of the retina in albino rats: a histological, immunohistochemical, and quantitative study

Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MBBCh Nancy N.A El-Hady Ibrahim
Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta
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DOI: 10.4103/tmj.tmj_5_19

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Background Retina is the best structural model for histological study of the nervous system. Aging is a biological phenomenon that involves gradual degradation of the structure and subsequent deterioration of the retina. Aim This study aimed to clarify the postnatal changes in the albino rat retina as well as the effect of aging on its structure. Materials and methods Twenty albino rats were divided into four groups (five rats each) according to their ages into 1, 3, 18, and 24 months. The retinae of all groups were prepared for light microscopic examination (histological and immunohistochemical), electron microscopic examination, and quantitative study including statistical analysis of the number of retinal ganglion cells. Results All layers of the retina were highly organized at 1 and 3 months with strong positive immunoreactivity of the ganglion cells to tubulin β III stain at 3 months. Ultrastructurally, oval light cones, irregular dark rods, and bipolar cells were noticed and the nuclei of ganglion cells layer exhibited finely dispersed chromatin at 1 month and at 3 months these cells were arranged in several layers of variable sizes and shapes. Aging caused degenerative changes to all layers of the retina at the age of 18 months which became marked with complete loss of the outer layers at 24 months. Ganglion cells showed weak immunoreactivity to tubulin β III stain and statistically, their number showed a highly significant increase from 1 to 3 months and then showed a highly significant reduction with aging. Conclusion Retina became highly organized postnatally and aging caused its deterioration with significant reduction in the number of ganglion cells.

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