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Mitotic activity of the pigment epithelium during embryonic and postembryonic development


, : Mitotic activity of the pigment epithelium during embryonic and postembryonic development. Advances in Ophthalmology 39: 37-58

The purpose of the present study was to examine the mitotic activity of the normal pigment epithelium of the retina (RPE), the ciliary body and the iris of different animals during gestation and after birth by blocking the metaphase with colchicine and by marking the pigment epithelial nuclei with tritium-labeled thymidine. The colchicine examinations were made on 54 albino rabbits and 56 albino rats, the 3H-thymidine studies with 78 albino mice. In the rabbit the peak of mitotic activity (respectively the end) is found in the RPE at the beginning of the 2nd third of gestation (respectively at the 9th postnatal day), but in the pigment epithelium of the ciliary body and in the iris during the last third of gestation (respectively in the 2nd month of life and the 3rd postnatal week). In the rat the highest mitotic activity is reached in the RPE at the beginning of the 2nd half of gestation (respectively at the 13th postnatal day), in the ciliary body at the 3rd day of life (respectively the 24th postnatal day) and in the iris at the end of the gestational period (respectively the 17th postnatal day). In the mouse the highest rates of mitotic activity are found in the RPE from the 16th gestational day to the 8th day of life (respectively the 20th day of life), in the ciliary body from the 1st to the 4th day of life (respectively from the 12th to the 20th postnatal day) and in the iris on the 9th day of life (respectively the 12th to the 20th postnatal day). The present observations have also demonstrated that with maturation of all areas of the pigment epithelium, the mitotic activity stops. The cells of the pigment epithelium do not have an epithelial cell turnover but they are reversible postmitotic cells. Despite the enormous proliferative properties the pigment epithelium shows no regeneration by mitosis after severe damage.

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PMID: 532757


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