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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Age-related structural abnormalities in the human
Author(s): Meng Han; Günter Giese; Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg; Almut Blindewald-Wittich; Frank G. Holz; Jiayi Yu; Josef F. Bille; Markolf H. Niemz
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Paper Abstract

The intensive metabolism of photoreceptors is delicately maintained by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the choroid. Dysfunction of either the RPE or choroid may lead to severe damage to the retina. Two-photon excited autofluorescence (TPEF) from endogenous fluorophores in the human retina provides a novel opportunity to reveal age-related structural abnormalities in the retina-choroid complex prior to apparent pathological manifestations of age-related retinal diseases. In the photoreceptor layer, the regularity of the macular photoreceptor mosaic is preserved during aging. In the RPE, enlarged lipofuscin granules demonstrate significantly blue-shifted autofluorescence, which coincides with the depletion of melanin pigments. Prominent fibrillar structures in elderly Bruch's membrane and choriocapillaries represent choroidal structure and permeability alterations. Requiring neither slicing nor labeling, TPEF imaging is an elegant and highly efficient tool to delineate the thick, fragile, and opaque retina-choroid complex, and may provide clues to the trigger events of age-related macular degeneration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2007
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 12(2) 024012 doi: 10.1117/1.2717522
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 12, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Meng Han, Ruprecht-Karls-Univ. Heidelberg (Germany)
Günter Giese, Max-Planck-Institut für Medizinische Forschung (Germany)
Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Almut Blindewald-Wittich, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Frank G. Holz, Univ. Bonn (Germany)
Jiayi Yu
Josef F. Bille, Ruprecht-Karls-Univ. Heidelberg (Germany)
Markolf H. Niemz, Ruprecht-Karls-Univ. Heidelberg (Germany)

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