Nutrient administration inhibits retinal capillary cell apoptosis and degeneration in diabetic rats. Trypsin digested retinal microvasculature was (a) analyzed for capillary cell apoptosis by TUNEL staining. (b) After TUNEL staining, the microvessels were stained with periodic acid-Schiff-hematoxylin; the arrow indicates a capillary which has lost endothelial cell. (c) The number of acellular capillaries was counted in the entire retinal vasculature, and represented as number of acellular capillaries/retina. Results are expressed as mean ± SD of 7–8 rats each in normal (Nor), diabetic (Diab) and diabetic rats receiving the nutrients (Nutr) groups. *p < 0.05 compared to age-matched normal, and #p < 0.05 compared to diabetes.