Scanning Microscopy


Chicken eyes from congenic blind (rd/rd) animals showing early, intermediate, and final stages of ossification, similar to the phthisis bulbi condition in man, were examined using scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as light microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. Early stages of ossification were devoid of mineralized calcium apatite while intermediate and end stages of the disorder contained large amounts of calcium and phosphorus. This process resulted in metaplastic bone formation. An intact Bruch's membrane appeared to separate the choroid from the degenerated pigment epithelium and the developing bone suggesting that its possible origin was metaplasia of the retinal pigment epithelium and the degenerated sensory retina. The end-stage ossification resulted in "phthisic bone" formation which completely filled the vitreous cavity in a manner very similar to the human condition of phthisis bulbi.

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