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

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Giese,  Günter
Department of Biomedical Optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Han, M., Giese, G., Schmitz-Valckenberg, S., Bindewald-Wittich, A., Holz, F. G., Yu, J., et al. (2007). Age-related structural abnormalities in the human retina-choroid complex revealed by two-photon excited autofluorescence imaging. Journal of Biomedical Optics, 12(2): 024012, pp. 24012-24018. doi:10.1117/1.2717522.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-692A-A
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.