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Depth-dependent changes in collagen organization in the hman peripapillary sclera

Pijanka, Jacek K., Spang, Martin T., Sorensen, Thomas, Liu, Jun, Nguyen, Thao D., Quigley, Harry A. and Boote, Craig ORCID: 2015. Depth-dependent changes in collagen organization in the hman peripapillary sclera. PLoS ONE 10 (2) , e0118648. 10.1371/journal.pone.0118648

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Purpose The collagen structure of the human peripapillary sclera plays a significant role in determining optic nerve head (ONH) biomechanics, and is therefore of interest in the study of glaucoma. The aim of the current work was to map the anisotropic collagen structure of the normal human peripapillary sclera as a function of tissue depth. Methods Wide-angle x-ray scattering was used to quantify collagen fibril orientation at 0.5mm intervals across six 150μm-thick serial sections through the peripapillary sclera of eight normal European-derived human eyes. Two structural parameters were measured: 1) the relative number of fibrils preferentially aligned at a given angle within the tissue plane, 2) the degree of collagen alignment (anisotropy). Results The inner-most one-third of the peripapillary scleral stroma (nearest to the choroid) was characterised by collagen fibrils either randomly arranged or preferentially aligned radially with respect to the ONH. In contrast, the outer two-thirds of the tissue was dominated by a circumferential arrangement of collagen encircling the ONH. In all tissue regions the degree of collagen anisotropy peaked in the mid-stroma and progressively decreased towards the tissue surfaces, with the largest depth variations occurring in the inferior-nasal quadrant, and the smallest occurring in the superior-nasal quadrant. Conclusions Significant, region-specific variations in collagen structure are present in the human peripapillary sclera as a function of depth. In normal eyes, the circumferential collagen fibril architecture is most prominent in the outer two-thirds of the stroma, possibly as a mechanical adaption to more effectively support the lamina cribrosa at the level of its insertion into the scleral canal wall.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 8 January 2015
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2022 09:16

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