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Open AccessArticle

Correlation between Macular Pigment Optical Density and Neural Thickness and Volume of the Retina

1
Laboratory of Retinal Cell Biology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
2
Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
3
Department of Ophthalmology, St. Luke’s International Hospital, 9-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8560, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040888 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 March 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
Macular pigment (MP), which is composed of lutein/zeaxanthin/mezo-zeaxanthin, is concentrated in the central part of the retina, the macula. It protects the macula by absorbing short-wavelength light and suppressing oxidative stress. To evaluate whether MP levels are related to retinal neural protection and resulting health, we analyzed the association between the MP optical density (MPOD), and the macular thickness and volumes. Forty-three eyes of 43 healthy adult volunteers (21 men and 22 women; age: 22–48 (average 31.4 ± 1.1) years) were analyzed. Highly myopic eyes (<-6 diopters) were excluded. MPOD was measured using MPS2®, and the neural retinal thickness and volume were measured using optical coherence tomography. The mean MPOD was 0.589 ± 0.024, and it positively correlated with the central retinal thickness (P = 0.017, R = 0.360) and retinal volume of the fovea (1-mm diameter around the fovea; P = 0.029, R = 0.332), parafovea (1–3-mm diameter; P = 0.002, R = 0.458), and macula (6-mm diameter; P = 0.003, R = 0.447). In the macular area (diameter: 6 mm), MPOD was correlated with the retinal neural volume of the ganglion cell layer (P = 0.037, R = 0.320), inner plexiform layer (P = 0.029, R = 0.333), and outer nuclear layer (P = 0.020, R = 0.353). Thus, MPOD may help in estimating neural health. Further studies should determine the impact of MP levels on neuroprotection.
Keywords: macular pigment; optical coherence tomography; macula; retina; neural tissue macular pigment; optical coherence tomography; macula; retina; neural tissue
MDPI and ACS Style

Nagai, N.; Asato, T.; Minami, S.; Suzuki, M.; Shinoda, H.; Kurihara, T.; Sonobe, H.; Watanabe, K.; Uchida, A.; Ban, N.; Tsubota, K.; Ozawa, Y. Correlation between Macular Pigment Optical Density and Neural Thickness and Volume of the Retina. Nutrients 2020, 12, 888.

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