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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Erythrocyte flow in choriocapillaris of normal and diabetic rats.

The choriocapillaris is a unique capillary bed that provides nutrients to the retinal photoreceptors. It changes anatomically in diabetes, but the impact of these changes on blood flow is unknown. In this study hemodynamic parameters in individual choriocapillaris vessels were compared in normal and diabetic rats. Three groups were studied: normal buffer-injected control rats, streptozotocin (STZ)-injected mildly hyperglycemic (STZ-MH) rats, and STZ-injected diabetic (STZ-D) rats. 7-8 weeks after STZ injection, the rats were anesthetized, and epifluorescent, intravital microscopy was used to record the flow of fluorescent red blood cells (RBC) in the choriocapillaris. Diameter, RBC flux, and RBC velocity were measured in 153 capillary pathways in five control rats, 98 pathways in four STZ-MH rats, and 153 pathways in seven STZ-D rats. There was no difference in capillary diameter among the groups. RBC flux and velocity were lower in the STZ-injected rats compared to the controls (p<or=0.023), which is similar to changes found in other capillary beds. RBC velocity and flux were significantly correlated in all three groups, but the correlations in the STZ-injected rats were much stronger than in the controls. This indicates a more heterogeneous distribution of RBCs at upstream arteriolar branch points in hyperglycemic rats, which could lead to a decrease in choriocapillaris hematocrit. These changes in the hyperglycemic choriocapillaris could contribute to impaired oxygen delivery to the photoreceptors in diabetic retina.[1]


  1. Erythrocyte flow in choriocapillaris of normal and diabetic rats. Braun, R.D., Wienczewski, C.A., Abbas, A. Microvasc. Res. (2009) [Pubmed]
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