The three-dimensional organization of lens fibers in the rabbit

A scanning electron microscopic reinvestigation
  • B. Willekens
  • G. Vrensen


The importance of the present reinvestigation of the three-dimensional structure of lens fibers in the rabbit is that it has shown the presence of all types of membrane specializations described before in one single lens of one species, the restricted distribution of some specializations, and the conformational changes within one fiber. Interlocking protrusions are present throughout the whole lens and must be considered as the main anchoring processes in the rabbit. Ball- and-socket junctions are present in restricted regions and can be considered as additional anchoring processes. Undulations of the apical and lateral edges of the hexagonal fibers and folds and bends of the lateral surface have a limited distribution. It is postulated that they may play a role in lens changes during accommodation.


Die 3-dimensionale Ultrastruktur der Linsenfasern des Kaninchens wurde mit Hilfe des Rasterelektronenmikroskops aufs Neue untersucht. Es wurde gezeigt, daß alle die Membran-Spezialisationen, die vorher in unterschiedlichen Spezies beschrieben wurden, vorhanden sind in der Linse des Kaninchens. Weiter wurde gezeigt, daß einige von den Spezialisationen nur an bestimmten Stellen vorhanden sind und daß ein und dieselbe Faser unterschiedliche Konformationen haben kann. Die wichtigste Verankerung der Linsenfasern kommt zustande durch Protrusionen an den Kanten der hexagonalen Fasern. Daneben sind Kugel-Verankerungen vorhanden, aber nur an bestimmten Stellen, und diese spielen nur eine additionelle Rolle. Undulationen der apikalen und lateralen Flächen und Falten der lateralen Flächen sind auch nur in bestimmten Regionen vorhanden. Es wird postuliert, daß die Falten und Undulationen eine Rolle spielen bei Veränderungen der Linse während der Akkommodation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Willekens
    • 1
  • G. Vrensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MorphologyThe Netherlands Ophthalmic Research InstituteEK AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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