Mitochondria in the retina

One of the most striking local accumulations of mitochondria in the body is in the inner segment of the rods and cones of the retina. The closely packed mitochondria are very long and have a complex pattern of curved cristae. The micrograph below shows the inner segment of a cone, flanked by the inner segments of two rods. The mitochondria are several micrometers in length and those of the cone appear to have a denser matrix. The molecular events related to energy transduction and amplification in the photoreceptors are still poorly understood, but the remarkable concentration of mitochondria near the photosensitive region of the cell indicates that the process has high energy requirements. (reblogged from The Cell)


Image of photoreceptor in the human retina courtesy of Toichiro Kuwabara (link to pdf of The Cell by Fawcett)

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