The present study is the first investigation to demonstrate, by employing the combined approach of immunologically and electron microscope methods, the presence of actin-like contractile proteins in the mammalian retina, the corneal epithelium and endothelium, the iris, and the ciliary body, and to confirm their presence in lens epithelium. This is also the first report to demonstrate by these methods the presence of microfilaments and intermediate filaments in retinal vascular endothelium. Since we have shown that actin filaments are especially abundant in immature retinal endothelial cells, the question of their function arises, and we have discussed their possible relevance to the closure of immature retinal vessels when exposed to hyperoxia.
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