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Cell Tissue Res. 1988 May;252(2):293-300.

Structure of retinular cells in a Drosophila melanogaster visual mutant, rdgA, at early stages of degeneration.

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Department of Fine Morphology, University of Tokyo, Japan.


A Drosophila visual mutant rdgA has photoreceptive cells which degenerate gradually after eclosion. Fine structure of the retinular cells of rdgAKS60 and rdgAKO14 was studied during early stages of degeneration to determine the initial morphological defects. The retinular cells of these two alleles showed the following structural abnormality within 1 day after eclosion: (1) rhabdomeres were small and irregular in shape; (2) cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum were more numerous than those in normal retinular cells; (3) submicrovillar cisternae were absent; and (4) lysosomes were fewer than normal. Three-dimensional reconstruction of serial sections of the ommatidia showed that the degeneration of mutant rhabdomeres proceeds more rapidly in regions remote from the nuclei. These results suggest that the process of turnover of rhabdomeric microvilli is abnormal in rdgA. We also confirmed an increase of lysosomes and destruction of cellular organelles, as reported by previous investigators at more advanced stages of degeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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