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Research Papers

Age-related structural abnormalities in the human retina-choroid complex revealed by two-photon excited autofluorescence imaging

[+] Author Affiliations
Meng Han

University of Heidelberg, Mannheim Biomedical Engineering Laboratories, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany and University of Heidelberg, Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, Heidelberg, Germany

Guenter Giese

Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany

Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, Almut Bindewald-Wittich, Frank G. Holz

University of Bonn, Department of Ophthalmology, Bonn, Germany

Jiayi Yu, Josef F. Bille

University of Heidelberg, Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, Heidelberg, Germany

Markolf H. Niemz

University of Heidelberg, Mannheim Biomedical Engineering Laboratories, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany

J. Biomed. Opt. 12(2), 024012 (April 18, 2007). doi:10.1117/1.2717522
History: Received August 11, 2006; Revised December 29, 2006; Accepted January 02, 2007; Published April 18, 2007
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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.

Figures in this Article
© 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Meng Han ; Guenter Giese ; Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg ; Almut Bindewald-Wittich ; Frank G. Holz, et al.
"Age-related structural abnormalities in the human retina-choroid complex revealed by two-photon excited autofluorescence imaging", J. Biomed. Opt. 12(2), 024012 (April 18, 2007). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2717522


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