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Anat Rec 2000 Jun 01;2592:205-14. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0185(20000601)259:2<205::AID-AR10>3.0.CO;2-4.
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Closer look at lactose-mediated support of retinal morphogenesis.

Jablonski MM , Ervin CS .

We have previously shown in intact isolated eye rudiments from Xenopus laevis that lactose, but not mannose, permits the formation of organized photoreceptor outer segments in the absence of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The purpose of this study was to determine, using electron microscopic analysis, the key ultrastructural differences between healthy retinas, lactose-protected retinas, and retinas that developed aberrantly to reveal which subcellular structures were exclusively present in healthy retinas. Filamentous actin was also localized in retinas to determine its distribution under the various conditions. In healthy retinas, calycal processes extending approximately three-fourths of the length of the outer segment surrounded highly organized photoreceptor outer segments. Adherens junctions were localized between adjacent photoreceptors and Müller cells at the outer limiting membrane. In addition, Müller cells possessed apical processes that extended for a short distance beyond the adherens junctions. These fine cytoarchitectural details were missing in retinas that completed differentiation in the absence of the RPE; both calycal and apical processes were no longer present and adherens junctions were sparsely intermittent. Müller cells appeared atrophic. Similarly, mannose promoted none of the fine cytoarchitectural details of the retina. Lactose, however, supported the formation of the proper subcellular cytoarchitecture of both photoreceptor and Müller cells. These results suggest that these subcellular structures may be fundamental for the proper assembly and stability of organized outer segments and are necessary to allow for normal cytogenesis of the outer retina.

PubMed ID: 10820322
Article link: Anat Rec
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a rpe