Bruch's membrane from monkeys of various ages was studied by electron microscopy. In monkeys under 15 years of age, Bruch's membrane rarely contained a small amount of polymorphous material that did not appear to increase with advancing age up to 15 years. However, the polymorphous material did increase over 20 years of age. The accumulation of vesicular, granular, tubular and linear polymorphous material in Bruch's membrane was thought to be a result of evagination of a minimal portion of a retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell between adjacent basal infoldings, and its subsequent degeneration. The plasma membrane of the evagination seemed to be the primary source of the tubular or linear material, vesicles the main source of vesicular material, and cytosol and basement membranes to be the source of the granular material. The fibrous long-spacing collagen was associated with the basement membrane of the choriocapillaris and RPE cells. The granular deposits between the plasma infoldings and the basement membrane of RPE cells may originate from the basement membrane of the RPE, and could be the initial lesion of basal linear deposits.
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