A Comparative Study of the Corneal Endothelium in Vertebrates

Collin, Shaun P. and Collin, H. Barry (1999) A Comparative Study of the Corneal Endothelium in Vertebrates. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 81 6: 245-254.

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Author Collin, Shaun P.
Collin, H. Barry
Title A Comparative Study of the Corneal Endothelium in Vertebrates
Journal name Clinical and Experimental Optometry
Publication date 1999-01-01
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 81
Issue 6
Start page 245
End page 254
Subject 270599 Zoology not elsewhere classified
Abstract In vertebrates, a corneal endothelium is essential for the maintenance of corneal transparency in a variety of environments, including aerial, terrestrial and aquatic. Knowledge of the surface structure of the corneal endothelium may assist our understanding of this unique tissue and its evolutionary development. Except for humans and some mammals, there have been few studies of other vertebrates, particularly the unique Australian species. The field emission scanning electron microscope was used to study the corneal endothelium in representatives of four vertebrate classes: Teleostei (five species), Reptilia (two species) Aves (four species) and Mammalia (three species), including Marsupilia (two species). Endothelial cell densities were calculated from micrographs using computer-based image analysis. The cell densities varied considerably from 1.900 +- 197 cells per mm2 for the bream to 11.734 +- 1.687 cells per mm2 for the emu. Most of the corneal endothelia were similar to those reported for mammals. However, in some species such as the koala, the pattern was irregular. Some endothelial cells in birds possessed cilia. The shape of the corneal endothelial cells of vertebrates is typically a mixture of hexagonal and pentagonal cells, in which the cell borders are irregular and interdigitating. An exception is the koala, in which the cells were markedly irregular. Many of the cells have microvilli but only the birds are cilia found in the centre of many endothilial cells. In spite of the range of corneal environments, there are no systematic differences in the cell densities of the various classes and species.
Keyword Australian vertebrates
cell densities
corneal endothelium
Additional Notes Originally published as Collin, S. P. and Collin, H. B. (1999) A Comparative Study of the Corneal Endothelium in Vertebrates, Clinical and Experimental Optometry 81 (6): 245-254. Copyright 1999 The Australian Optometrical Association. All rights reserved.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 24 Jan 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Lisa Clayton on behalf of Biological Sciences Library