Nitrites can be reduced in retinal vessels during hypoxia and protect the retina against ischemia and apoptosis
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The possibility and the mechanism of the reduction of nitrites in retinal vessels under acute hypoxia in vivo have been investigated. An experimental model of rat retinal ischemia was elaborated using laser coagulation of retinal vessels. It was demonstrated that vessel thrombosis does not occur if the nitrite concentration in the vessels is increased. It was proposed that, under acute hypoxia, nitrites are reduced to NO, which results in drastic vasodilatation. Considering that the effect takes less than a minute, this reduction cannot be due to hypoxic acidosis but is more likely associated with NO reduction by heme proteins. It was found that increased concentration of nitrites protects the retina from the development of ischemia progress and that preliminary administration of nitrites prevents apoptosis in the retina and a decrease in its photoelectric activity.
Keywordsnitric oxide nitrites ischemia apoptosis eye retina retinal pathologies
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