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Cell Tissue Res. 1992 Jun;268(3):531-8.

Biogenesis of myeloid bodies in regenerating newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) retinal pigment epithelium.

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Department of Anatomy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Myeloid bodies are believed to be differentiated areas of smooth endoplasmic reticulum membranes, and they are found within the retinal pigment epithelium in a number of lower vertebrates. Previous studies demonstrated a correlation between phagocytosis of outer segment disc membranes and myeloid body numbers in the retinal pigment epithelium of the newt. To test the hypothesis that myeloid bodies are directly involved in outer segment lipid metabolism and to further characterize the origin and functional significance of these organelles, we examined the effects on myeloid bodies of eliminating the source of outer segment membrane lipids (neural retina removal) and of the subsequent return of outer segments (retinal regeneration) in the newt Notophthalmus viridescens. Light- and electron-microscopic analysis demonstrated that myeloid bodies disappeared from the pigment epithelium within six days of neural retina removal. By week 6 of regeneration, rudimentary photoreceptor outer segments were present but myeloid bodies were still absent. However, at this time, the smooth endoplasmic reticulum in some areas of the retinal pigment epithelial cells had become flattened, giving rise to small (0.5 micron long), two-to-four layer-thick lamellar units, which are myeloid body precursors. Small myeloid bodies were first observed one week later at week 7 of retinal regeneration. This study revealed that newt myeloid bodies are specialized areas of smooth endoplasmic reticulum. It also showed that a contact between functional photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium is essential to the presence of myeloid bodies in the epithelial cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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