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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep;245(9):1335-45. Epub 2007 Jan 31.

Oscillatory potentials and the b-Wave: partial masking and interdependence in dark adaptation and diabetes in the rat.

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Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford University, Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AW, UK.



Diabetes inhibits dark adaptation and both processes alter the electroretinogram (ERG) in similar ways. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between oscillatory potentials (OPs) and the b-wave during dark adaptation and to determine if this relationship changes during the development of diabetes.


Twenty-one rats were assigned to adaptation, control and diabetic groups. Rats were dark adapted for periods between 20 minutes and 4 hours, and ERGs recorded. Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin, and ERGs measured after 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks after injection.


Increasing periods of dark adaptation led to a logarithmic increase in the amplitude of the b-wave and the OPs. This was accompanied by a decrease in the peak times of the OPs and b-wave. Total OP amplitude and b-wave amplitude were linearly related, allowing an empirical OP constant to be developed to describe the relationship between the two parameters. Diabetes led to a progressive decrease in the amplitude and increase in the peak time of all waves. The OP constant decreased in a linear fashion with increasing duration of diabetes.


It is argued that OP masking of the b-wave could explain previous inconsistencies in reported ERG changes in diabetes and that a slowing of dark adaptation does not account for these ERG changes. The report concludes that the OPs and b-wave amplitudes and latencies are intimately related in the normal retina and that this correlation is lost predictably during the development of diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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