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Three-dimensional imaging of the extracellular matrix and cell interactions in the developing prenatal mouse cornea

Feneck, Eleanor M., Lewis, Philip N. ORCID: and Meek, Keith M. ORCID: 2019. Three-dimensional imaging of the extracellular matrix and cell interactions in the developing prenatal mouse cornea. Scientific Reports 9 , 11277. 10.1038/s41598-019-47653-z

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As the outer lens in the eye, the cornea needs to be strong and transparent. These properties are governed by the arrangement of the constituent collagen fibrils, but the mechanisms of how this develops in mammals is unknown. Using novel 3-dimensional scanning and conventional transmission electron microscopy, we investigated the developing mouse cornea, focusing on the invading cells, the extracellular matrix and the collagen types deposited at different stages. Unlike the well-studied chick, the mouse cornea had no acellular primary stroma. Collagen fibrils initially deposited at E13 from the presumptive corneal stromal cells, become organised into fibril bundles orthogonally arranged between cells. Extensive cell projections branched to adjacent stromal cells and interacted with the basal lamina and collagen fibrils. Types I, II and V collagen were expressed from E12 posterior to the surface ectoderm, and became widespread from E14. Type IX collagen localised to the corneal epithelium at E14. Type VII collagen, the main constituent of anchoring filaments, was localised posterior to the basal lamina. We conclude that the cells that develop the mouse cornea do not require a primary stroma for cell migration. The cells have an elaborate communication system which we hypothesise helps cells to align collagen fibrils.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 15 July 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 16:45

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