Cholesterol in the Tapetum Lucidum of the Eye of the Opossum, Didelphis virginiana


THE eye of the opossum Didelphis virginiana has a tapetum formed from the retinal pigment epithelium1,2. Investigation of the eyes of three specimens of Didelphis virginiana and of one specimen of the crab-eating opossum obtained through the kindness of Dr. S. Halber t, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and of Dr. Osman Hill, Zoological Gardens, London, has shown that the tapetum of these animals is rich in cholesterol, cholesterol esters and lipids and it is tentatively suggested that these form the reflecting material in vivo.

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PIRIE, A. Cholesterol in the Tapetum Lucidum of the Eye of the Opossum, Didelphis virginiana. Nature 191, 708–709 (1961).

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