Retinal lesions were produced in the eyes of chinchilla rabbits and rhesus monkeys by means of a xenon arc photocoagulator. Clinically, the lesions produced were similar in the two species, but when the changes were examined histopathologically during the early phase of injury as well as during the later period of repair, a considerable number of differences were noted between the two species. Initially, the most notable difference was maintenance of the planes of the inner retinal layers in the rhesus monkey in spite of full-thickness necrosis, whereas the inner layers of the rabbit retina were consistently disrupted. The differences are accounted for partly by the anatomy. Some variance in retinal energy densities could not be ruled out because of the differences in the two species. Later, repair in the rhesus monkey retina was slow and organized by proliferating glial cells from the adjacent viable retina, with variable contributions by the retinal pigment epithelium. Repair in the rabbit retina was more rapid, with the dominant reparative tissue being provided by the retinal pigment epithelium. The species differences between rabbit and monkey eyes are sufficiently great that direct extrapolation of experimental results from rabbit to man may be misleading.
ASJC Scopus subject areas