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Synchrotron x-ray-diffraction and histochemical-studies of normal and myopic chick eyes

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/1993
<mark>Journal</mark>Tissue and Cell
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)73-85
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Synchrotron X-ray diffraction patterns were obtained from the cornea and posterior sclera of control and myopic chicks. No significant difference was found in the interfibrillar or in the intermolecular spacing of the collagen fibrils from the corneas of control and myopic chicks. The intermolecular spacing of myopic sclera was shown to be significantly (p < 0.01) higher than in controls.

Sclera and cornea from normal and myopic chicks were stained for proteoglycans using the 'critical electrolyte' method of Scott and Orford (1981). In the sclera, two morphologically distinct types of proteoglycans could be distinguished; one small and usually elongated (approximately-equal-to 20 nm), the other larger and irregularly shaped. The small proteoglycans were seen binding preferentially to the 'd' and 'e' bands of the collagen fibrils. Small proteoglycans were also present within the fibrils, these were usually approximately-equal-to 10 nm in diameter although sizes up to 30 nm were observed. Longitudinal sections of fibrils revealed that these intrafibrillar proteoglycans were chiefly orientated parallel to the axis of the collagen fibrils, and preferentially located along the gap region of the fibrils.

No difference was observed in the binding sites of the proteoglycans between normal and myopic sclera. The larger proteoglycans were also seen aggregated into clumps, which were usually associated with spaces between collagen bundles. The differences between control and myopic sclera appear to be quantitative rather than qualitative suggesting that the scleral expansion in myopia is an enhanced form of normal scleral growth.