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F. F. Behar-Cohen, S. Omri, B. Omri, M. Savoldelli, L. Jonet, B. Thillaye-Goldenberg, J.-C. Jeanny, G. Thuret, P. Gain, P. Crisanti-Lassiaz; The Outer Limiting Membrane: An Under Estimated Barrier. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3801.
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The outer limiting membrane (OLM) is considered as playing a role in maintaining the structure of the retina through mechanical strength. However, the observation of junction proteins located at the OLM and its barrier permeability properties may suggest that the OLM may be part of the retinal barriers.
Normal and diabetic rats, monkey and human retina were used to analyze junction protein at the OLM. Proteome analyses were performed using immunohistochemistry on sections and flat-mounted retinas and western blotting on protein extracts obtained from laser microdissection photoreceptors layer. Semi-thin and ultra structure analyses were also reported.
In the rat retina, in the sub apical region ZO-1, JAM, atypical PKC are present and the OLM shows dense labeling of occludin, JAM and ZO-1. The presence of occludin has been confirmed using western blot analysis of the microdissected OLM region. In diabetic rats, occludin expression is decreased and glial cells junctions are dissociated. In the monkey retina, occludin, JAM and ZO-1 are also found in the OLM. Junction proteins have a specific distribution around cone photoreceptors and Müller glia. Ultra structural analyses suggest that ‘tight-like" junctions may exist between retinal glial Müller cells and photoreceptors.
In the OLM, heterotypic junctions contain proteins from both adherent and tight junctions. Their structure suggests that "tight-like" junctions may exist in the OLM. Occludin is present in the OLM of the rat and monkey retina and it is decreased during diabetes.The OLM should be considered as part of the retinal barriers that can be disrupted in pathological conditions contributing to fluid accumulation in the macula.
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