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M J Sagaties, G Raviola, S Schaeffer, C Miller; The structural basis of the inner blood-retina barrier in the eye of Macaca mulatta.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1987;28(12):2000-2014.
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This is a morphological analysis of the inner blood-retina barrier in various segments of the retinal vasculature in the eye of Macaque monkeys. The primary aims of this study are to identify the components of the walls of the arteries, central capillaries, peripheral capillaries and veins of the retina using light and electron microscopy, and to compare and contrast junctional morphology as revealed by thin section electron microscopy and freeze-fracture. The walls of these vascular segments are composed of continuous endothelium, muscle cells or pericytes, and connective tissue. Endothelial cells are joined by tight and gap junctions. In freeze-fracture replicas, tight junctions consist of a continuous, complex network of branching and anastomosing strands which do not possess free endings. The intramembrane strands of tight junction remain preferentially associated with the outer membrane leaflet or E-face of the endothelial plasma membrane and sit at the bottom of linear strands or grooves. However, particles and fragments of the intramembrane strands may be avulsed from the E-face during the fracture process and are associated with ridges on the inner membrane leaflet or P-face. The total number of plasmalemmal vesicles per unit area of endothelial cell for each vascular segment in thin sections is less than non-barrier endothelium, but greater than barrier endothelium. The paucity of plasmalemmal vesicles and the complexity of the tight junctional network contribute to the barrier function of the retinal vascular endothelium.
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