Morphological changes to Schlemm's canal and the distal aqueous outflow pathway in monkey eyes with laser-induced ocular hypertension

Shayna Sosnowik, David L. Swain, Shan Fan, Carol B. Toris, Haiyan Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Though roughly 30–50% of aqueous outflow resistance resides distal to Schlemm's canal (SC), the morphology of the conventional outflow pathway distal to SC has not been thoroughly evaluated. This study examined the morphological changes along proximal and distal aspects of the conventional aqueous outflow pathway and their association with decreased outflow facility in an experimental model of glaucoma in cynomolgus macaques. Nd:YAG laser burns were made to 270–340 degrees of the trabecular meshwork (TM) of one eye (n = 6) or both eyes (n = 2) of each monkey to induce ocular hypertension. Distinct regions of the TM were left unlasered. Contralateral eyes (n = 5) were not lasered and were utilized as controls. Monkeys were sacrificed ≥58 months after their last laser treatment. All eyes were enucleated and perfused at 15 mmHg for 30 min to measure outflow facility. Two pairs of eyes were also perfused with fluorescein to examine segmental outflow. All eyes underwent perfusion-fixation for 1 h. Anterior segments were cut into radial wedges and processed for light and electron microscopy. Width, height, and cross-sectional area (CSA) of SC were compared between high- and low-flow regions of control eyes, and between non-lasered regions of laser-treated eyes and control eyes. Number and CSA of intrascleral veins (ISVs) were compared between non-lasered and lasered regions of laser-treated eyes and control eyes, and between high- and low-flow regions of control eyes. Scleral collagen fibril diameter was compared between control eyes and lasered and non-lasered regions of laser-treated eyes. Median outflow facility was significantly decreased in laser-treated eyes compared to control eyes (P = 0.02). Median CSA and height of SC were smaller in high-flow regions than low-flow regions of control eyes (P < 0.05). Median width of SC was not significantly different between high- and low-flow regions of control eyes (P > 0.05). Median CSA, width, and height of SC were not different between non-lasered regions and control eyes (P > 0.05). SC was partially or completely obliterated in lasered regions. Median number of ISVs was significantly decreased in lasered regions compared to non-lasered regions (P < 0.01) and control eyes (P < 0.01). Median CSA of ISVs did not differ between these groups (P > 0.05). Median number and CSA of ISVs were not significantly different between high- and low-flow regions of control eyes (P > 0.05). Lasered regions displayed looser scleral stroma and smaller median diameter of collagen fibrils adjacent to the TM compared to non-lasered regions (P < 0.05) and control eyes (P < 0.05). Dense TM, partial to complete obliteration of SC, and a decreased number of patent ISVs may account in part for the decreased outflow facility in monkey eyes with laser-induced ocular hypertension. The significance of changes in scleral structure in laser-treated eyes warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109030
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Volume219
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Aqueous outflow facility
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Intrascleral vein
  • Laser-induced ocular hypertension
  • Monkey eye
  • Schlemm's canal
  • Segmental outflow
  • Trabecular meshwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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