Macromolecular markers in normal human retina and applications to human retinal disease

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Abstract

Macromolecular cell markers are essential for the classification and characterization of the highly complex and cellularly diverse vertebrate retina. Although a plethora of markers are described in the current literature, the immunoreactivity of these markers in normal human tissue has not been fully determined. This is problematic as they are quintessential to the characterization of morphological changes associated with human retinal disease. This review provides an overview of the macromolecular markers currently available to assess human retinal cell types. We draw on immunohistochemical studies conducted in our laboratories to describe marker immunoreactivity in human retina alongside comparative descriptions in non-human tissues. Considering the growing number of eye banks services offering healthy and diseased human retinal tissue, this review provides a point of reference for future human retina studies and highlights key species specific disease applications of some macromolecular markers.

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