Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 327–346

Interactions between the retinal pigment epithelium and the neural retina

  • R. H. Steinberg

DOI: 10.1007/BF00158922

Cite this article as:
Steinberg, R.H. Doc Ophthalmol (1985) 60: 327. doi:10.1007/BF00158922


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.

Key words

electrooculogramelectroretinogramphotoreceptorretinal pigment epithelium

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Steinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and OphthalmologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanFranciscoUSA