retinal pigment epithelium Essay

Submitted By Jenrakhimov
Words: 836
Pages: 4

Jennifer Rakhimov 12/13/14
Retinal Pigment Epithelium

After reading 28 articles I have learned how age affects the retinal pigment epithelium causing it to shrivel up like old wrinkly skin. The retinal pigment epithelium also known as the
RPE, is located in between the photoreceptors and the bruch’s membrane. This single layer of cells is so small that it has caused scientists to have difficult time in researching them until they created new technology that can scan the inner layers of the eye. One machine that I have learned about from reading many of the articles is called the AOSLO which stands for adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope. The human eye is a very complicated organ, so the anatomy of the eye is extremely complex with detailed layers and structures. The retina is the most inner layer of the eye. The retina is divided into three smaller and complex layers of nerve cells. The outermost layer in the retina is called the photoreceptor cells. When light falls on the photoreceptor they initiate the nerve signal to the brain. The photoreceptor cells include individual cells within them called rod cells and cone cells. The rod cells are very sensitive to light. They give you your night vision while the cone cells work better in brighter light making them more useful for detecting color and providing sharp central vision. In the human eye there are three different types of cone cells red, blue, and green. These various colors allow us to see in contrast while for instance a dog can not see in color. The layer above the photoreceptor is in charge of moving the nerve signals up to the surface of the retina and getting those signals ready for transmission to the brain. Near the surface of the retina are the ganglion cells. They are connected to a long nerve fiber which comes together to form the optic nerve. This nerve connects the eyes to the brain. There are also cells that protect and support the shape of the retina called glial cells. The predominant type of glial cells present in the retina are called the muller cells which extend from the surface of the retina to the midsection of the photoreceptors. At the surface of the retina and at the midsection of the photoreceptors these cells form a strong membrane. The muliar cells have an irregular shape allowing them to fill in the empty spaces in between. They also have the ability to maintain a favorable working environment for the nerve cells and support the structure of the retina. Another type of glial cell present in the retina is called the astrocyte which has a shape of a star. This cell is found in the nerve fiber layer where it surrounds and protects the retinal capillaries and the nerve fiber cells. Finally the layer of the cell that I would like to research about is the retinal pigment epithelium. This single layer of cells make sure that the photoreceptors have everything they need to function properly. The RPE continuously refreshes and repairs the photoreceptors which are damaged overtime by incoming light. They remove waste