Late ultrastructural changes in the retina of the rat following low-dose X-irradiation

W. M. Amoaku, G. J. Mahon, T. A. Gardiner, L. Frew, D. B. Archer

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This study describes ultrastructural changes in the pigmented hooded Lister rat retina, 3-12 months following X-irradiation with single doses of between 200 and 2000 cGy. The extreme radiosensitivity of the photoreceptor cells was underlined by the continued manifestation of fine structural changes and cell death up to 6 months post-radiation in animals receiving doses above 500 cGy. The retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells were more radioresistant than photoreceptors and RPE cell loss was only observed at doses of more than 1500 cGy. One year after irradiation with 1500 cGy the retinal vasculature showed capillary occlusion with some evidence of recanalisation. Telangiectasia was observed in the large retinal veins. Although the inner retinal neurones and glial cells showed no evidence of direct radiation damage, the nerve fibre layer adjacent to occluded retinal vessels demonstrated ultrastructural evidence of ischaemic neuropathy and retinal oedema. At doses above 1500 cGy the choriocapillaris showed platelet aggregation and capillary loss.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)569-574
Number of pages6
JournalGraefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Bibliographical note

LR: 20081121; JID: 8205248; ppublish


  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Photoreceptor Cells/radiation effects/ultrastructure
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye/radiation effects/ultrastructure
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental/pathology
  • Rats
  • Retina/radiation effects/ultrastructure

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