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June 1961

Histochemistry of the Retina: I. Introduction and Methods

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, Baltimore.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1961;65(6):820-827. doi:10.1001/archopht.1961.01840020822015

The histology of most normal and diseased structures, including the eye, has been extensively studied by standard techniques. With the development of the newer methods of histochemistry a recent shift of emphasis from morphology to cellular physiology has resulted. Some elementary principles fundamental to retinal histochemistry are briefly discussed.

Glucose is the principal source of nutrition for the retina. The oxidation of glucose to carbon dioxide and water supplies the energy needed in retinal metabolism. The glucose molecule is oxidized through a series of successive degradations. At each stage the oxidation is accomplished by the removal of hydrogen by an enzyme that is specific for this step and is designated a dehydrogenase.

For example, malic dehydrogenase catalyzes the oxidation of malate to oxaloacetate by the removal of hydrogen. This dehydrogenase, however, requires the presence of a cofactor in order to function. In the case of malic dehydrogenase that cofactor or

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