The Phagolysosomal System of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium in Ageing Rats

  • P. M. Leuenberger
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 53)


The retinal pigment epithelium is responsible for the removal of the continuously shedded terminal disks of rod outer segments. As such, in mammalian retinas, each pigment epithelial cell engulfs and destroys thousands of disks every day (1). The pigment epithelium possesses a highly developed phagolysosomal system, which has to digest these considerable amounts of exogenous material for a lifetime. In contrast to phagocytic cells of the reticuloendothelial system, the pigment epithelium has a very low rate of mitosis and is likely to accumulate with time a great deal of non-digestible material, which in turn might impair cellular function and be at the origin of some of the retinopathies observed in the ageing eye (2).


Retinal Pigment Epithelium Pigment Epithelium Dense Body Acid Phosphatase Activity Acid Hydrolase 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Leuenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.University Eye ClinicGenevaSwitzerland

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