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January 1970

Ultrastructure of the Optic Nerve Head

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology and the Department of Ophthalmology, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Anderson is now at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fla.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1970;83(1):63-73. doi:10.1001/archopht.1970.00990030065013

Astrocyte cell bodies and processes form a continuous limiting membrane of varying thickness over the optic disk surface. The surface contour is irregular in places. Basement membrane separates glia from vitreous. The layer of glia is continuous with the internal limiting membrane of the retina, which is similar but has a thicker basement membrane and is formed by foot plates of Müller cells (a kind of astrocyte) instead of spider-cell astrocytes.

As throughout the central nervous system (CNS), the endothelium of the central retinal vessels is nonfenestrated and held together by tight junctions. The artery has a media of smooth muscle, but the media of the vein is discontinuous. The central retinal artery loses its internal elastic membrane as it enters the eye, where tissue pressure is higher. The vascular adventitia is enclosed by astroglia.

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