The determination of the presence of nitric oxide metabolites in the rat vitreous cavity in a regioselective manner is complicated by the size and shape of the eye as well as the diffusivity of the molecule and its metabolites. In this work, in vivo low-flow push-pull perfusion sampling was utilized with a rapid capillary electrophoretic assay to monitor levels of the major NO metabolite, nitrate, at the vitreoretinal interface (VRI) of normal and aged rat models. The sampling probe tips were placed in three different positions in the posterior chamber through a 29-gauge guide needle. Sampling was performed along the VRI over the optic nerve head and regions peripheral to the optic nerve head. Additionally, samples were collected from the middle vitreous region to compare to VRI sampling. A significant (P < 0.05) difference in the perfusate nitrate concentration was observed in each location, which may be due to the source of NO production or the clearance mechanism of the molecule from the vitreous cavity. Infusion of L-NAME with physiological saline led to a significant decrease (35%) in the observed nitrate level. LFPPP was then utilized to observe nitrate levels after an average of 4.5 months of aging. A 3-fold increase in the mean level of nitrate over the optic nerve head was observed in mature animals compared to younger control animals. Precise measurement of NO metabolites along the VRI may provide insights into the function of NO in maintaining homeostatic conditions and the molecular changes at the diseased retina.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry