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Histochemistry. 1988;88(3-6):613-21.

Presence and distribution of Na+/K+-ATPase in the ciliary epithelium of the rabbit.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Regional differences in the localization of Na+/K+-ATPase in the ciliary epithelium of albino rabbits were studied histochemically using the method of Chayen et al. and ultra-histochemically using a cerium-based method. In addition, the incubation time necessary to achieve first signs of staining was investigated as an indication of Na+/K+-ATPase activity. In the entire pars plicata: prelenticular, postlenticular, as well as tips and valleys, staining was seen in the lateral infoldings of the non pigmented epithelium (NPE) after short incubation periods. Somewhat later, the apical cell membranes also stained. The ultrastructure of these cells, together with the staining pattern, point towards a functional significance of the NPE in active fluid secretion. The pigmented epithelium (PE) did not stain. In the iridial processes and in the area of the ciliary ridges staining first appeared in the apical cell membranes of the NPE, which form the typical ciliary channels. The basolateral infoldings of the NPE also stained, whilst the PE remained unstained. The difference in morphology and staining between pars plicata and iridial processes could indicate a difference in function, e.g. reabsorption of freshly secreted aqueous humour. In the pars plana, only the basolateral infoldings of the PE stained. A functional significance of this area in connection with the blood retina barrier is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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