Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is defined as a microvascular pathology. However, some data have suggested that the retinal photoreceptors (PRs) might be important in the pathogenesis of this ocular disease. In this study the organization of the PRs in control and diabetic-induced rats was compared using multiphoton microscopy. The PR mosaic was imaged at different locations in non-stained retinas. The density of PRs was directly quantified from cell counting. The spatially resolved density presents a double-slope pattern (from the central retina towards the periphery) in both healthy and pathological samples, although the values for the latter were significantly lower all across the retina. Moreover, Voronoi analysis was performed to explore changes in PR topography. In control specimens a hexagonally packed structure was dominant. However, despite the non-controlled effects of the disease in retinal structures, this PR regularity was fairly maintained in diabetic retinas.
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