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Watching the human retina breath in real time and the slowing of mitochondrial respiration with age

Kaynezhad, Pardis; Tachtsidis, Ilias; Sivaprasad, Sobha; Jeffery, Glen; (2023) Watching the human retina breath in real time and the slowing of mitochondrial respiration with age. Scientific Reports volume , 13 (1) , Article 6445. 10.1038/s41598-023-32897-7. Green open access

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Abstract

The retina has the greatest metabolic demand in the body particularly in dark adaptation when its sensitivity is enhanced. This requires elevated level of perfusion to sustain mitochondrial activity. However, mitochondrial performance declines with age leading to reduced adaptive ability. We assessed human retina metabolism in vivo using broad band near-infrared spectroscopy (bNIRS), which records colour changes in mitochondria and blood as retinal metabolism shifts in response to changes in environmental luminance. We demonstrate a significant sustained rise in mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in the first 3 min of darkness in subjects under 50 years old. This was not seen in those over 50 years. Choroidal oxygenation declines in < 50 s as mitochondrial metabolism increases, but gradually rises in the > 50 s. Significant group differences in blood oxygenation are apparent in the first 6 min, consistent with mitochondrial demand leading hemodynamic changes. A greater coupling between mitochondrial oxidative metabolism with hemodynamics is revealed in subjects older than 50, possibly due to reduced capacity in the older retina. Rapid in vivo assessment of retinal metabolism with bNIRS provides a route to understanding fundamental physiology and early identification of retinal disease before pathology is established.

Type: Article
Title: Watching the human retina breath in real time and the slowing of mitochondrial respiration with age
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-32897-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-32897-7
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Humans, Middle Aged, Retina, Dark Adaptation, Retinal Diseases, Mitochondria, Respiration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10169239
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