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T F Freddo, G Raviola; Freeze-fracture analysis of the interendothelial junctions in the blood vessels of the iris in Macaca mulatta.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1982;23(2):154-167. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The interendothelial cell junctions in the blood vessels of the rhesus monkey iris were examined by both conventional electron microscopy and the freeze-fracturing technique. Endothelial cells of iris blood vessels were joined by two types of intercellular junctions: zonular tight junctions and gap junctions. The zonulae occludentes were represented by a complex network of branching and anastomosing strands that remained preferentially associated with the E fracture face. They varied in complexity from a single strand to eight or more but usually consisted of from two to four strands. Small gap junctions were inserted within the tight junctional network. Junctions similar to those typical of muscular and visceral venules were absent. Thus the intercellular clefts of all iris vessels are closed by zonulae occludentes that exhibit a degree of complexity intermediate between the endothelial junctions of the cerebral cortex and those of striated muscles and viscera. This finding strongly suggests that the blood vessels of the iris participate only minimally in aqueous humor dynamics.
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