The process of vision begins in the photoreceptor outer segments with light captured by opsins located in continually synthesized disc membranes. Photoreceptor disc shedding is a physiological process performed by Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells that is fundamental to maintaining photoreceptor health: it allows preserving the outer segment length by daily shedding and disposing into RPE about one tenth of its length, thus supporting complete renewal of the whole outer segment about once every ten days. Since photoreceptor disc renewal and shedding dysfunction is believed to be associated with numerous retinal diseases, the implication of the discovery made by Kocaoglu et al. goes beyond in-vivo observation of basic retinal function, but should eventually find its way into clinical diagnostic where its impact on early detection of eye diseases could be truly remarkable.
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