Cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells readily ingested both melanin and lipofuscin isolated from human RPE cells. Up to 7 days post-challenge ingested granules demonstrated no evidence of lysis or aggregation within secondary lysosomes. When cultures containing ingested melanin and lipofuscin were subcultured the cells gradually depigmented due to a redistribution of pigment granules amongst daughter cells. Quantitative analysis demonstrated that the accumulation of both types of granule was linear over a 24 hr challenge period. This study reports a technique of 'artificially' repigmenting cultured human RPE cells and thus offers the potential for in vitro investigations of the role of these inclusions in various dynamic aspects of cellular metabolism.
- retinal pigment epithelium
- tissue culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience