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Regional differences in the fine structure of the ciliary epithelium related to accommodation

, : Regional differences in the fine structure of the ciliary epithelium related to accommodation. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 18(7): 655-664

The ciliary bodies of five monkey eyes and one human eye were subdivided into five zones. The ciliary epithelium with its bordering stroma was investigated electron microscopically. The number of cell organelles of the nonpigmented (NPE) and pigmented (PE) epithelium (mitochondria, rough endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes); intercellular junctions between NPE and NPE, PE and PE, and NPE and PE (desmosomes, puncta adhaerentia, gap junctions, tight junctions); and fenestrations of the capillary endothelium were quantitatively evaluated. All these types of cell organelles, fenestrations of the capillary endothelium, and gap junctions in the NPE were found in greater numbers at the crests of the ciliary processes than in the valleys between processes. On the other hand, the number of puncta adhaerentia is significantly higher in the valleys than at the crests. In the valleys, the internal limiting membrane performs an elaborate network of electron-dense strands in which many fine zonular fibers terminate. These fibers are believed to belong to the "tension fiber system." Their firm attachment to the ciliary epithelium and the great number of intercellular junctions known as mechanical structures lend further support to our concept that these structures function as a fulcrum in the process of accommodation.


PMID: 109410

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