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Cytological studies on the developing vitreous as related to the hyaloid vessel system.


The embryonic development of the cell population of the mammalian vitreous has been traced to two sources: the undifferentiated mesenchymal cells of the eye primordium and the primitive reticular cells of the bone marrow. Undifferentiated mesenchymal cells invade the future vitreous space in two ways: through the annular opening between the rim of the optic cup and the lens primordium, and through the open embryonic fissure. They differentiate into prevascular cells, hemangioblasts, and fibrocytes located in the area of the optic nerve head. From the very beginning of fetal development, another ameboid-type cell of mesenchymal origin makes its entrance into the vitreous through the hyaloid vessels; these monocyte-like cells differentiate into hyalocytes and populate a well-defined area of the cortical vitreous close to the retina and to the ora serrata. Gamma-irradiation (600 rads) of newly born rabbits and cats decreases the number of migrating amebocytes in their vitreous; 24 h later, however, they are replaced by monocytes from the hyaloid vessels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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