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A comparative study of the elastic fibre system within the mouse and human cornea

Feneck, Eleanor M., Lewis, Philip N. ORCID:, Ralphs, Jim ORCID: and Meek, Keith M. ORCID: 2018. A comparative study of the elastic fibre system within the mouse and human cornea. Experimental Eye Research 177 , pp. 35-44. 10.1016/j.exer.2018.07.024

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The cornea relies on its organised extracellular matrix for maintaining transparency and biomechanical strength. Studies have identified an elastic fibre system within the human posterior cornea, thought to allow for slight deformations in response to internal pressure fluctuations within the eye. However, the type of elastic fibres that exist within the cornea and their roles remain elusive. The aim of this study was to compare the distribution and organisation of the elastic fibres within the posterior peripheral mouse and human cornea, and elucidate how these fibres integrate with the trabecular meshwork, whilst characterising the distribution of their main likely components (fibrillin-1, elastin and type VI collagen) in different parts of the cornea and adjacent sclera. We identified key differences in the elastic fibre system between the human and mouse cornea. True elastic fibres (containing elastin) were identified within the human posterior peripheral cornea. Elastic fibres appeared to present as an extensive network throughout the mouse corneal stroma, but as fibrillin-rich microfibril bundles rather than true elastic fibres. However, tropoelastin staining indicated the possibility that true elastic fibres had yet to develop in the young mice studied. Differences were also apparent within the anatomy of the trabecular meshwork. The human trabecular meshwork appeared to insert between the corneal stroma and Descemet's membrane, with elastic fibres continuing into the stroma from the trabecular meshwork anterior to Descemet's membrane. Within the mouse cornea, no clear insertion point of the trabecular meshwork was seen, instead the elastic fibres within the trabecular meshwork continued into Descemet's membrane, with the trabecular meshwork joining posterior to Descemet's membrane.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0014-4835
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 August 2018
Date of Acceptance: 21 July 2018
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 13:01

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