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Evaluation of retinal macroglia and thickness in rats: maternal undernutrition model

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Session Details

Session Title: Presented Poster Session: New & Interesting I

Venue: Poster Village: Pod 3

First Author: : G.Laurinavičiūtė LITHUANIA

Co Author(s): :    D. Petroška   V. Bartuškienė   S. Galgauskas   R. Šimkūnaitė-Rizgelienė   J. Tutkuvienė           

Abstract Details


Maternal nutritional stress before and during pregnancy may impair postnatal health of the offspring. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the impact of maternal nutritional restriction during sensitive periods of growth on macroglia and thickness of aged retina.


Experimental study was performed at Department of Anatomy, Histology and Anthropology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.


9 rat (Wistar) eyes (second generation of 20-month-old female offspring) were analyzed. The offspring were born to mothers that were 50% food restricted either before pregnancy (1st group) or before and throughout the pregnancy periods (2nd group). The control group, as well as the offspring, was fed normally. After transcardial perfusion, eyes were enucleated, embedded in paraffin and sectioned. Sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and immunostained with anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In each sample retinal thickness, inner plexiform layer (IPL), inner nuclear layer-outer nuclear layer (INL-ONL) were measured. GFAP score and nuclear density in INL-ONL were evaluated.


Mean GFAP score in 1st group was equal to 2nd group (2.3±0.5; 2.3±0.8; p=1), whereas control group had significant lower activation of Müller cells in the retina (1.1±0.4; p<;0.01). None of the investigated groups had negligible GFAP staining, but none of them were found to have high activation. INL-ONL was thicker in the control group than in the nutritional deprived groups (20.7µm;14.9µm; p<;0.05). We observed that outer nuclear layer is thinned in all retinas, which could imply the effect of light to albino rats. There was no significant difference in nuclear density, retinal thickness and IPL between the groups (p>0.05).


Undernutrition during sensitive periods of growth may induce significant activation of macroglia and thinning of the INL-ONL in the retina of aged rats. The findings of this study provide the baseline to understand the possible effects of nutritional restriction on aging retinas. However, further research of greater extent is needed.

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