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J Biosci. 2007 Mar;32(2):293-8.

Age-related decrease in rod bipolar cell density of the human retina: an immunohistochemical study.

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Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.


During normal ageing, the rods (and other neurones) undergo a significant decrease in density in the human retina from the fourth decade of life onward.Since the rods synapse with the rod bipolar cells in the outer plexiform layer, a decline in rod density (mainly due to death)may ultimately cause an associated decline of the neurones which,like the rod bipolar cells,are connected to them.The rod bipolar cells are selectively stained with antibodies to protein kinase C-alpha.This study examined if rod bipolar cell density changes with ageing of the retina, utilizing donor human eyes (age: 6-91 years).The retinas were fixed and their temporal parts from the macula to the mid-periphery sectioned and processed for protein kinase C-alpha immunohistochemistry.The density of the immunopositive rod bipolar cells was estimated in the mid-peripheral retina (eccentricity: 3-5 mm)along the horizontal temporal axis.The results show that while there is little change in the density of the rod bipolar cells from 6 to 35 years (2.2%), the decline during the period from 35 to 62 years is about 21% and between seventh and tenth decades,it is approximately 27%.

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