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

Topical phenylephrine for mydriasis affects rabbit retinal pigment epithelial transport.

Rabbit retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) has an alpha-1 adrenoreceptor that substantially reduces RPE short circuit current (Isc) when stimulated. Since phenylephrine is a potent alpha adrenergic agonist frequently used to obtain pupil dilation, we examined the effect of topically applied phenylephrine for pupil dilation on RPE transport. Naive black dutch-belted rabbits received either one drop of 10% phenylephrine applied at t = 0 and t = 30 min or one drop of 1% cyclopentolate applied at t = 30 min. At t = 50 min, RPE-choroid-sclera explants from these animals were sealed in an Ussing chamber. At t = 60-70 min, 1.4 X 10(-4) M epinephrine was introduced into both sides of the Ussing chamber. The change in Isc produced by epinephrine was measured. The Isc reduction in rabbits receiving phenylephrine was 26% (+/- 5% SD, n = 6). The Isc reduction in rabbits receiving cyclopentolate was 39% (+/- 6% SD, n = 5). These values are significantly different (P less than 0.02, student two-tail t-test). These results indicate that topical phenylephrine reached the RPE in vivo and prestimulated the alpha-1 adrenoreceptors.[1]


  1. Topical phenylephrine for mydriasis affects rabbit retinal pigment epithelial transport. Frambach, D.A., Valentine, J.L., Weiter, J.J. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (1989) [Pubmed]
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