Retinal microvascular changes were studied in trypsin-digested specimens from a strain of rats afflicted with hereditary visual cell degeneration. A close temporal relationship was noted and described between the progressive degeneration and thinning of the outer retinal layers and the degeneration of retinal capillaries. The possibility of a cause and effect relationship between the two phenomena is discussed. It is felt that the degeneration and thinning of the outer retinal layers, which brings the retinal vascular network into closer apposition with the extensive choroidal vascular plexus and results in less tissue mass with which to metabolize oxygen, leads to an increased oxygen tension in the outer retinal layers. This increased oxygen tension has a vasoconstrictive and degenerative effect on the retinal microvasculature.
Gerstein DD, Dantzker DR. Retinal Vascular Changes in Hereditary Visual Cell Degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol. 1969;81(1):99-105. doi:10.1001/archopht.1969.00990010101014