Vitamin A Deficiency: Effect on Retinal Structure of the Moth Manduca sexta

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Science  13 Oct 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3798, pp. 268-270
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3798.268


Sphingid moths (Manduca sexta) were reared for several generations on an artificial diet deficient in vitamin A and its precursors. Retinal tissue from depleted moths was removed for histological examination. There was extensive histolysis in the retinal epithelium and underlying nervous and connective tissues. This pathology correlated with severe visual impairment, even though normal growth, metamorphosis, and reproduction occurred. In the adult this pathology could be reversed when the larvae were reared only on tobacco (its usual host) or on the artificial diet supplemented with β-carotene or vitamin A palmitate.