The Fovea

The Fovea

Structure, Function, Development, and Tractional Disorders

1st Edition - August 27, 2021

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  • Authors: Andreas Bringmann, Peter Wiedemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323904681
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323904674

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The Fovea: Structure, Function, Development, and Disease summarizes the current biological knowledge regarding the two types of the vertebrate fovea (and its main structural elements, the Müller cells). This information is then used to explain different aspects of human vision, foveal development, and macular disorders. Sections give an overview of the retinal structure and the different types of retinal glia, survey the structure and function of the primate and non-mammalian fovea types, discuss foveal development—with a focus on the human fovea, cover the roles of Müller cells and astrocytes in the pathogenesis and regeneration of various human macular disorders are described. Using a translational approach, this reference is a valuable text for scientists, clinicians and physicians interested in the fovea. Readers will gain a new understanding of the cellular basics of the fovea, which is the most important part of the eye.

Key Features

  • Adopts a translational approach, summarizing the biological knowledge regarding the structure and function of the fovea, the roles of Müller cells in mediating the structural integrity, and function of the fovea
  • Provides overviews of both basic types of the vertebrate fovea, countering the popular belief that there is only one type of the vertebrate fovea, the human fovea
  • Thoroughly shows the mechanisms involved in the development of the fovea that explain the rapid improvement of visual acuity in newborns
  • Explains pathological changes in the foveal structure and function with evaluation pointing toward possible prevention and/or cure


Ophthalmologists, ophthalmology researchers, physicians and scientists who deal with the fovea at various levels: cell and developmental biologists, histologists, behavioural scientists, comparative biologists

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: Optical properties of the retina
    1.1. Light guidance through Müller cells
    1.2. Retinal areas of high cell densities
    1.3. The fovea: A structural solution for high-acuity vision

    2. Basic structure of the retina
    2.1. Photoreceptors
    2.2. Bipolar, horizontal, and amacrine cells
    2.3. Retinal ganglion cells
    2.4. Retinal vasculature

    3. Retinal glia
    3.1. RPE cells
    3.2. Oligodendroglia
    3.3. Microglia
    3.4. Macroglia: Retinal astroglia
    3.5. Macroglia: Müller glia
    3.5.1. Mechanical tissue homeostasis
    3.5.2. Neurotransmitter recycling
    3.5.3. Spatial potassium buffering
    3.5.4. Retinal water clearance
    3.5.5. Release of gliotransmitters

    4. Nonmammalian fovea
    4.1. Retinal localization of the nonmammalian fovea
    4.2. Shape of the nonmammalian fovea
    4.3. Histological structure of the nonmammalian fovea
    4.4. Cellular arrangement in the nonmammalian fovea
    4.5. Photoreceptors of the nonmammalian fovea
    4.6. Optical function of the nonmammalian fovea
    4.7. Motion detection and depth perception by the nonmammalian fovea

    5. Primate Fovea
    5.1. Structure of the primate fovea
    5.1.1. Foveola Basal lamina of the ILM Müller cells of the foveola Possible functional roles of foveolar Müller cells
    5.1.2. Müller cells of the foveal walls and parafovea
    5.1.3. Fovea externa
    5.1.4. Second- and third-order neurons of the primate fovea Retinal ganglion cells Bipolar, horizontal, and amacrine cells
    5.2. Glio-neuronal units of the primate fovea
    5.3. Optical properties of the primate fovea

    6. Comparison of the nonmammalian and primate fovea

    7. Development of the fovea
    7.1. Cytogenesis and retinal development
    7.2. Development of the rod-free zone
    7.3. Development of the area centralis
    7.4. Development of the retinal vascularization
    7.5. Development of the primate fovea interna
    7.5.1. Formation of the foveal pit
    7.5.2. Widening of the foveal pit
    7.5.3. Formation of the foveola
    7.6. Development of the primate fovea externa
    7.7. Variations in human foveal development
    7.8. Improper foveal development
    7.9. Development of the nonmammalian fovea

    8. Tractional disorders of the human fovea
    8.1. Posterior vitreous detachment
    8.2. Vitreomacular traction
    8.3. Epiretinal membranes
    8.4. ILM detachment
    8.5. Macular pucker
    8.6. Macular pseudoholes
    8.7. Myopic traction maculopathy
    8.8. Macular telangiectasia type 2
    8.9. Partial gap in the foveola
    8.10. Foveal pseudocysts
    8.11. Lamellar macular holes
    8.11.1. Inner lamellar holes Tractional lamellar holes Degenerative lamellar holes
    8.11.2. Outer lamellar holes
    8.12. Sealing and regeneration of outer foveal defects
    8.13. Full-thickness macular holes
    8.13.1. Formation of full-thickness macular holes
    8.13.2. Spontaneous closure of full-thickness macular holes
    8.13.3. Surgical closure of full-thickness macular holes
    8.14. Cystoid macular edema
    8.15. Glial scaffold of the foveal structure

Product details

  • No. of pages: 290
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2021
  • Published: August 27, 2021
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323904681
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323904674

About the Authors

Andreas Bringmann

Since 1996, the research focus of Dr. Andreas Bringmann has been the Müller cell and the retina. He studied Biology (Animal Physiology) and worked in the basic sciences after the study. He was from 1990 to 2002 scientific assistant at the Department of Neurophysiology, Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain Research, Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig (Head of the Department: Andreas Reichenbach, MD). Since 2002, he is the Head of the Research Laboratory of the Department of Ophthalmology and Eye Clinic, Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. He has published 181 peer-reviewed original papers, 30 review articles, 10 book chapters, and 2 books.

Affiliations and Expertise

Head of the Research Laboratory of the Department of Ophthalmology and Eye Hospital, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Peter Wiedemann

Dr. Peter Wiedemann is Professor of Ophthalmology at Leipzig University. He is a vitreoretinal specialist whose expertise includes complex vitreoretinal surgery and macular disorders. Dr. Wiedemann earned his medical degree at Erlangen University, Germany. He started ophthalmic research at the Doheny Eye Institute, Los Angeles, with Dr. Stephen Ryan and completed residency and fellowship in ophthalmology at Cologne University with Prof. Klaus Heimann. In his research Dr. Wiedemann studies retinal and macular disorders and Müller cells pathophysiology. He has authored over 500 peer reviewed publications in ophthalmology and is co-editor of the textbook Ryan´s Retina. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Ophthalmological Society, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Club Jules Gonin. He is also a Fellow of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI), the European Academy of Ophthalmology, and a Board Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO).

Affiliations and Expertise

Head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Eye Hospital, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

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