Author(s): Brunette I, Nelson LR, Bourne WM
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Abstract Seventy-two human corneas were maintained in a perfusion system at 37 degrees C and 18 mm Hg intracameral pressure for 1 to 3 weeks. Corneal thickness, which was initially greater than normal because the enucleated eyes were kept at 4 degrees C before excision of the corneas, decreased slowly during the period of incubation. Endothelial removal or perfusion with ouabain (10(-4) M) induced irreversible stromal swelling. Cooling to 4 degrees C for 8 hr during perfusion caused stromal swelling that disappeared after rewarming to 37 degrees C; less stromal swelling occurred with cooling after 3 weeks of perfusion than after 3 days. No enlargement of central endothelial cells was noted in most corneas by serial specular microscopy. Electron microscopy demonstrated reversal of postmortem changes and maintenance of normal intracellular ultrastructure for 3 weeks. This system for long-term corneal perfusion will allow controlled studies of the effects of new methods of corneal preservation and other perturbations upon the corneal endothelium in situ.
This article was published in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
and referenced in Journal of Cell Science & Therapy