Regulation of Transport in the RPE

  • Adnan Dibas
  • Thomas Yorio
Part of the Ophthalmology Research book series (OPHRES)


The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a monolayer of post-mitotic pigmented epithelial cells juxtaposed between the neural retina and the choroid. It separates the outer surface of the neural retina from the choriocapillaris and functions as a part of the blood–retina barrier. The RPE's long apical microvilli surround the light-sensitive outer segments establishing a small extracellular domain known as the subretinal space, whereas the basolateral membrane faces Bruch's membrane, which separates the RPE from the choriocapillaris. The volume and chemical composition of the subretinal space fluctuates with the light and dark cycle. Such changes are attributed to the many volume and transport systems associated with RPE.

A healthy RPE is essential for photoreceptor survival, and maintenance of photoreceptor viability depends on viable RPE. The RPE functions both as a protective barrier and a nutrient controller for the photoreceptors. In fact, RPE regulates the transport of...


Retinal Pigment Epithelium Apical Membrane Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Subretinal Space Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported in part by a grant from Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for T. Yorio, and a grant from the National Glaucoma Foundation to A. Dibas.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adnan Dibas
    • 1
  • Thomas Yorio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and NeuroscienceUniversity of North Texas Health Science CenterFort WorthUSA

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