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Lab Invest. 1979 Feb;40(2):155-65.

Retinal pigment epithelium. Interrelations of endoplasmic reticulum and melanolysosomes in the black mouse and its beige mutant.


By cytochemistry (acid phosphatase and tyrosinase activities) GERL, a specialized hydrolase-rich region of endoplasmic reticulum (ER), can be visualized in the cells of the mouse retinal pigment epithelium. Previously catalase cytochemistry permitted us to identify microperoxisomes, with numerous continuities to the ER. The present report reveals the extensive continuities of the ER to pigment granules in various stages of maturation. When the pigment granules, which we consider to be "melanolysosomes," first appear they consist of electron-opaque grains within dilated areas of the ER. As the dilations enlarge, fine fibrils appear in the ER cisternae. Thicker fibers develop from the fibrils; these fibers are generally obscured when melanin deposition occurs. At all stages, the melanolysosomes appear to be connected to the ER.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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