Flat bleached preparations of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells from foveal, temporal posterior pole, and temporal equatorial fundus locations of 20 normal human eyes from donors age ranked from 13 to 96 years were analyzed for density, and 10 were analyzed for area, hexagonality and polymegathism. These factors were related to fundus locations and age. Foveal RPE cells were significantly more dense and more hexagonal in eyes from younger donors. Loss of hexagonality in the fovea, but not elsewhere, was correlated with increasing age. As the eye ages, foveal RPE cells selectively lose unique morphologic characteristics and resemble nonfoveal cells. These morphologic changes resemble other pathologic features of age-related degeneration in their proclivity for the fovea and posterior pole.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience