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The structure and possible functions of the milkfish Chanos chanos adipose eyelid

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Basic histological sections (with different staining methods) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examinations showed that there were three distinctive layers in the adipose eyelid of milkfish Chanos chanos, which is found in the cephalie region and covers the entire eye. The outer and inner layers were epithelial tissues and the middle layer was composed of connective tissue formed by type I collagen fibrils. No adipose tissue was found in any of the three layers of the so-called adipose eyelid. Examination by transmission spectrophotometer showed that the adipose tissue could filter out ambient light with a wavelength shorter than 305 nm. A photoretinoscope was used to investigate whether the adipose eyelid influenced the mechanism of eye focusing. Eye diopter values did not differ before or after eyelid removal, which indicated that the adipose eyelid did not play a role in eye focusing. In light of these findings, it is suggested that the adipose eyelid serves to block exposure of harmful ultraviolet light into eyes and may also to offer some protection against impact to the eye in the aquatic environment.

Keywords: connective tissue; epithelial tissues; refractive state; type I collagen fibril

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Institute of Molecular Medicine, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu City, Hinch country 30013 Taiwan

Publication date: July 1, 2009


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