Vascular architecture of degenerated retina in WBN/Kob rats: Corrosion cast and electron microscopic study

Imran A. Bhutto, Noritake Miyamura, Tsugio Amemiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study is to determine the changes of vascular architecture in the degenerated retina. We used mainly corrosion casts of the retinal vasculature and scanning electron microscopy to obtain a wide three-dimensional view. WBN/Kob rats (a spontaneously diabetic strain) were used because their outer retinas degenerate and become very thin with age. In 15-month-old rats, localized constriction and irregular caliber of the capillaries were evident in the vascular casts. Two layers of capillary network in the retina were maintained, but the capillaries were decreased in number. Numerous loop formations were present in the superficial capillary networks. Neither microaneurysms nor arteriovenous shunts were seen in young and old rats. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that capillary pericytes in the inner and outer plexiform layers had thickened basement membranes and that endothelial cells had many vesicles in their cytoplasm. Thus the retinal capillary changes in WBN/Kob rats are nondiabetic but due to hereditary retinal degeneration, although the systemic and pancreatic abnormalities in this rat strain are diabetic. Even when the retina becomes very thin, two layer capillary networks remain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-377
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Corrosion casts
  • Hereditary degeneration
  • Retinal capillaries
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Spontaneously diabetic strain
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • WBN/Kob rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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