2Mitoengineering Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 939-5945; E-mail: email@example.com
3Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Akademika Lavrentieva 10, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia; fax: (383) 333-1278; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received November 5, 2009
The pigment epithelium cell structure and therapeutic effect of antioxidant SkQ1, selectively penetrating into mitochondria from eye drops, were studied upon development in OXYS rats of age-related retinopathy as a model of macular degeneration. The characteristic dynamics and ultrastructural peculiarities of the layer of electron-dense cytoplasmic structures of the pigment epithelium apex part and incorporated lipofuscin granules were revealed. The therapy of OXYS animals for 68 days using 250 nM SkQ1 drops decreased the extent of development of age-related macular degeneration. Electron-microscopic investigation showed that SkQ1 prevented development of ultrastructural changes in the pigment epithelium characteristic of macular degeneration, the condition of which after therapy with SkQ1 drops corresponded to ultrastructure of pigment epithelium in Wistar rats of the same age having no symptoms of retinal damage. It is supposed that ultrastructural changes in the electron-dense layer upon development of age-related macular degeneration are indicative of disturbances in the optical cycle functioning, especially of disturbances in functioning of photoreceptor membranes.
KEY WORDS: electron microscopy, age dependent macular degeneration, pigment epithelium, mitochondria, lipofuscin granules, oxidative stress, SkQ1