Age-related changes in the chorioretinal junction: An immunohistochemical study Academic Article uri icon


  • The chorioretinal junction comprises the retinal pigment epithelium, Bruch's membrane (BM), and adjacent choroidal capillaries. Its significance lies in its ability to support the retina mechanically and metabolically. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to record the senescent changes affecting all the constituents of the chorioretinal junction in 40 histological specimens across the whole spectrum of the adult age range. This study included light microscopy, with hematoxylin and eosin and PAS stains, and fluorescent microscopy. Immunohistochemistry was done using antibodies against neurofilament, synaptophysin, S-100, and collagen IV. The descriptive microanatomy was corroborated by morphometry. The amount of melanin and lipofuscin granule and drusens were noted. The ratio of thickness of BM to capillary diameter reduced from 1:6 or less in the 2nd decade to 1:3 in the 10th decade. Complete hyalinization of intercapillary pillars was seen in the 10th decade. The accumulation of lipofuscin with age was documented with the diminution in the size of epithelial cells. The subepithelial accumulation of drusen was first noted in the specimen from the late 60s. We have described all senescent changes in the chorioretinal junction chronologically. Similar changes are found in a more pronounced form in age-related macular degeneration. These data might serve as a reference baseline for clinicians and pathologists.

publication date

  • 2017