Lipofuscin: resolution of discrepant fluorescence data

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Science  14 May 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4547, pp. 757-759
DOI: 10.1126/science.7079738


Lipofuscin granules (age pigments) emit yellow light under ultraviolet excitation in the fluorescence microscope. The reported blue emission maximum of extracts of lipofuscin-laden cells may result from instrumental bias. The major fluorescent components that accumulate with age in these lysosomal residual bodies of human retinal pigment epithelium are yellow-emitting fluorophores. Different age-related fluorophores, which do emit blue light, are derived from other intracellular sources. A reevaluation of the connection between blue-emitting lipid peroxidation products and the age-related lipofuscin granules of classical pathology is necessary.