Aging of the Retinal Vessels

Age-related changes to the retinal vessels have been found both in the superficial and the deeper capillary net. The thickness of the basal ganglion membrane increases by two to three times. In samples of retina of rats aged 28 to 32 months, Glatt and Henkind (l979) noted a reduction in the number of capillary endothelial cells and pericytes. Ramirez et al. (200l) also described age-related changes to the retinal vessels. The capillaries show a thickening of the basal membrane, equal to double that of the capillaries of young individuals, with numerous accumulations of lipids. The lumen of the capillaries is more irregular, and the endothelial cells are full of lysosomes and lipids, which are then carried into the lumen of the blood vessels. The pericytes adjacent to the endothelial cells of the vessels have a cytoplasm rich in dense bodies. Moreover, there is a loss of endothelial cells from the peripheral retinal capillaries that become like naked vessels or acellular capillaries. The same happens in the chorio-capillary vessels from 60 years onward (Cavallotti et al., 2005). The loss of endothelial cells and the thickening of the basal membrane of the capillaries diminish the passage of oxygen and nutrients to the retinal nervous tissue. This fact causes hypoxia and slowing of the elimination of catabolism products.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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