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Nutrition. 1995 Sep-Oct;11(5 Suppl):705-7.

Nutritionally induced retinal degeneration in rats.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of L├╝beck, Germany.


Nondystrophic RCS rdy+ rats were fed a vitamin E-deficient diet for a period of 3 mo. Light and electron microscopic examination revealed degenerative alterations in retinal tissue in the form of a reduction in the thickness of the outer nuclear layer, shortening of the photoreceptor outer segments, and extreme thinning of the pigment epithelial cells, including a reduction in the number of cell organelles. These changes may be a result of increased lipid peroxidation activity in the retina, because vitamin E is known to have a protective antioxidant effect in many tissues. Some of the alterations are similar to those found in hereditary retinal dystrophies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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