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R R Pfister; The normal surface of conjunctiva epithelium. A scanning electron microscopic study.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1975;14(4):267-279.
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Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the cellular surface of the rabbit conjunctiva show the monotonous appearance of fine, finger-like cytoplasmic protrusions (microvilli) covering the polygonal cells. Many of these surface cells contained a variety of intracytoplasmic vesicles, unroofed vesicles, and full-thickness holes of different sizes. These surface changes were interpreted as occuring in a sequential pattern leading to cell destruction and exfoliation. Interspersed among these light and dark polygonal cells were goblet cells representing various stages in their maturation. Specialized filopodia were found between epithelial cells only in the area just proximal to the tarsi. Duct openings of many glands were shown to enter onto the conjunctival surface. The relation of these finding to the tear film is discussed.
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