Oxygen distribution in the macaque retina

J. Ahmed, R. D. Braun, R. Dunn, R. A. Linsenmeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Purpose. Oxygen distribution was characterized in the macaque retina, which is more like the human retina than others studied previously. Methods. Profiles of oxygen tension (PO2) as a function of distance were recorded in a parafoveal region about halfway between the fovea and optic disk, and from the fovea in one animal. A one-dimensional diffusion model was used to determine photoreceptor oxygen consumption (QO2). Results. In the parafovea, the PO2 decreased as the electrode was withdrawn from the choroid toward the inner retina, reaching a minimum value during dark adaptation of about 9 mmHg at about 70% retinal depth, and then increasing more proximally. Approximately 90% of the oxygen requirement of the photoreceptors was supplied by the choroidal circulation and 10% by the retinal circulation. In light adaptation, there was a monotonic PO2 gradient from the choroid to the inner retina, indicating that all of the oxygen used by photoreceptors was supplied by the choroid. In the fovea, the choroid supplied almost all the oxygen in both dark and light adaptation, with a minor supply from the vitreous humor. Dark-adapted foveal oxygen consumption was lower than parafoveal oxygen consumption. Light reduced the oxygen consumption of the photoreceptors, in both regions studied, by 16-36%. Conclusions. The results show that oxygenation of the parafoveal monkey retina is similar to that previously observed in the cat area centralis. In the fovea, the oxygen distribution differs as expected considering the thinner retina and the absence of inner retinal neurons and retinal circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-521
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


  • macaque
  • oxygen
  • oxygen consumption
  • retina
  • retinal metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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