Acute changes in RPE apical morphology after retinal detachment in rabbit. A SEM study

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1986 Dec;27(12):1770-6.


The morphology of the apical surface of rabbit retinal pigment epithelium was studied by scanning electron microscopy from the first minute to several hours after making small nonrhegmatogenous retinal detachments (blebs). From 0 to 5 min, there were only slight changes in the homogeneous, dense mat of filamentous microvilli. From 5 to 30 min, filamentous microvilli retracted exposing larger processes. From 30 to 60 min blunt processes became completely exposed and sheet-like processes disappeared. At about 60 min, cone sheaths were no longer identifiable in most specimens. Between 60 min and the time of retinal reapposition (several hours), the apical surface became highly rounded. Colchicine and cytochalasin-D had no effect on the time required for fluid resorption, but colchicine greatly accelerated and enhanced cell rounding, while cytochalasin-D produced prominent apical tufts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Cytochalasin D
  • Cytochalasins / pharmacology
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / ultrastructure*
  • Rabbits
  • Retinal Detachment / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Cytochalasins
  • Cytochalasin D
  • Colchicine