Interactions between the retinal pigment epithelium and the neural retina
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- Steinberg, R.H. Doc Ophthalmol (1985) 60: 327. doi:10.1007/BF00158922
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The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) interacts with the photoreceptors, which it faces across the subretinal space. In these interactions the RPE acts as three types of cell - epithelium, macrophage, and glia. This review briefly describes selected interactions between the RPE and photoreceptors in ion and water transport, Vitamin A transport, phagocytosis of shed portions of outer segments, ensheathment of photoreceptors outer segments, and electrical responses. The electrical interactions can be recorded at the cornea in the c-wave, fast oscillation, and light peak of the DC electroretinogram (DC-ERG) and electrooculogram (EOG). Each response reflects photoreceptor-RPE interactions in a distinct way. The three responses taken together provide perhaps the best opportunity to learn how pathophysiological conditions alter the interactions between the RPE and photoreceptors.