Effects of age on retinal macrophage responses to acute elevation of intraocular pressure

Jelena M. Kezic, Vicki Chrysostomou, Paul G. McMenamin, Jonathan G. Crowston

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2 Citations (Scopus)


There is accumulating evidence that aging shifts the central nervous system milieu towards a proinflammatory state, with increased reactivity of microglia in the aging eye and brain having been implicated in the development of age-related neurodegenerative conditions. Indeed, alterations to microglial morphology and function have been recognized as a part of normal aging. Here, we sought to assess the effects of age on the retinal microglial and macrophage response to acute intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. Further, we performed experiments whereby bone marrow from young or middle-aged mice was used to reconstitute the bone marrow of whole-body irradiated 12 month old mice. Bone marrow chimeric mice then underwent cannulation and IOP elevation 8 weeks after whole-body irradiation and bone marrow transplantation in order to determine whether the age of bone marrow alters the macrophage response to retinal injury. Our data show retinal macrophage reactivity and microglial morphological changes were enhanced in older mice when compared to younger mice in response to injury. When IOP elevation was performed after whole-body irradiation and bone marrow rescue, we noted subretinal macrophage accumulation and glial reactivity was reduced compared to non-irradiated mice that had also undergone IOP elevation. This effect was evident in both groups of chimeric mice that had received either young or middle-aged bone marrow, suggesting irradiation itself may alter the macrophage and glial response to injury rather than the age of bone marrow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107995
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Aging
  • Bone marrow
  • Injury
  • Irradiation
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia
  • Retina

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