The pigment epithelial cell of the retina actively participates in two aspects of lipid metabolism: (a) the fatty acid esterification of vitamin A and its storage and transport to the photoreceptors, and (b) the phagocytosis and degradation of the lipoprotein membrane disks shed from the photoreceptor cells. Study of the pigment epithelial cells of adult albino and pigmented rodents has revealed the abundance of an organelle, microperoxisomes, not previously known to exist in this cell type. The metabolism, transport, and storage of lipids are major functions of other cell types which possess large numbers of microperoxisomes associated with a highly developed smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Microperoxisomes were encountered, but relatively rarely, in Müller cells and vascular endothelial cells. A tubular system in photoreceptor terminals is reactive in the cytochemical procedure used to visualize microperoxisomes.

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