Blood-Retina Barrier Properties of the Pecten Oculi of the Chicken
The site of the blood-brain or blood-retina barrier is the tight junction between endothelial and pigment epithelial cells, respectively. Considerable effort has been provided for understanding the nature of tight junctions and their regulation. It has become clear that morphology and physiology of blood brain barrier endothelium heavily alters if cultured in vitro(1) and that, as a result, blood brain barrier properties are highly dependent on the brain microenvironment. Therefore, we looked for a new model-system, preferably posessing the combined validity of the in vivo situation and the simplicity of an in vitro system. We found it in the pecten oculi of the avian eye, which is a pleated vascular structure, protruding from the optic nerve head into the vitreous (for a review, see 2). Although the pecten is well-known for a long time, its function is still a matter of controversal speculation. Regulation of the pH-value, of the temperature and of the inner bulb pressure of the eye, as well as support in movement detection and nutrition of the retina have been considered.
KeywordsTight Junction Retinal Pigment Epithelium Barrier Property Optic Nerve Head Pigment Cell
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