Breakdown of the normal optic nerve head blood-brain barrier following acute elevation of intraocular pressure in experimental animals

R. L. Radius, D. R. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Five hours of elevated intraocular pressure produced evidence of an altered blood-brain barrier at the optic nerve head in 27 of 29 monkey eyes. The change in vascular permeability was documented by fluorescein angiography (18 of 21 eyes), by Evans blue fluorescence microscopy (21 of 23 eyes), or by both methods. Leakage occurred from major blood vessels as well as from microvasculature of the nerve head. In 22 eyes, rapid axonal transport was studied after intravitreal injection of tritiated leucine. In 18 of these 22 eyes, autoradiography demonstrated a local interruption of axonal transport. In 15 eyes examined by all three methods, leakage from microvasculature (as opposed to leakage from the major vessels) was loosely associated with severe and widespread blockade of axonal transport at the lamina cribrosa. Although cause-and-effect relationships are not proved, ischemia may be responsible both for the focal endothelial damage with breakdown of the normal blood-brain barrier and for the local abnormalities of axonal transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-255
Number of pages12
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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