Tissue obtained from the macula in 10 human eyes (53-77 years) was used for an investigation into the extracellular matrices of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), Bruch's membrane, and the choriocapillaris. The ultrastructural distribution of type IV collagen and laminin was documented using immunogold labelling. Labelling for type IV collagen was strongly positive in all the specimens in the basement membranes of the choriocapillaris but not that of the RPE where labelling was either weak or absent. Laminin was localised to deposits of granular material in Bruch's membrane but was absent from the basement membrane of the RPE and the choriocapillaris. Basal linear deposit, observed in three cases, demonstrated labelling for laminin but not for type IV collagen. The series was too small for correlation of these morphological changes with age.
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