Does melanin turnover occur in the eyes of adult vertebrates?

Pigment Cell Res. 1993 Aug;6(4 Pt 1):193-204. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0749.1993.tb00602.x.


This paper is a review of what is known about the turnover of melanin in iris, choroid, and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the adult vertebrate eye. Differences in size and structure of choroideal and retinal pigment epithelial melanin granules are shown by electron micrographs. The classical stages of melanin synthesis, including the premelanosome, are shown in the RPE of adult hamsters that had been exposed to intense light. Degradation or synthesis of melanin also seem to occur in the melanocytes of the choroid in these animals. It is postulated that all three pigmented eye tissues (iris, RPE, and choroid) of adult vertebrates form melanin granules in vivo. However, nothing is known about the amount of this turnover.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Eye / cytology
  • Eye / metabolism*
  • Melanins / metabolism*
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena
  • Vertebrates / metabolism*


  • Melanins