Abstract #82569 Published in IGR 20-4

Ultrastructural variability of the juxtacanalicular tissue along the inner wall of Schlemm's canal

Koudouna E; Young RD; Overby DR; Ueno M; Kinoshita S; Knupp C; Quantock AJ
Molecular Vision 2019; 25: 517-526

PURPOSE: Increased resistance of aqueous humor drainage from the eye through Schlemm's canal (SC) is the basis for elevated intraocular pressure in glaucoma. Experimental evidence suggests that the bulk of outflow resistance lies in the vicinity of the inner wall endothelial lining of SC and the adjacent juxtacanalicular tissue (JCT). However, there is little understanding of how this resistance is generated, and a detailed understanding of the structure-function relationship of the outflow pathway has not been established yet. In the present study, regional variations in the ultrastructure of the JCT and the inner wall of SC were investigated in three dimensions. METHODS: With the use of serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM), the volume occupied by the electron lucent spaces of the JCT compared to that occupied by the cellular and extracellular matrix was investigated and quantified. The distribution of giant vacuoles (GVs) and pores in the inner wall endothelium of SC was further examined. RESULTS: With increasing distance from the inner wall of SC, the volume of the electron lucent spaces increased above 30%. In contrast, the volume of these spaces in immediate contact with the inner wall endothelium was minimal (<10%). Circumferential variability in the type and distribution of GVs was observed, and the percentage of GVs with pores varied between 3% and 27%. CONCLUSIONS: These studies provide a detailed quantitative analysis of the ultrastructure of JCT and the distribution of GVs along the circumference of SC in three dimensions, supporting the non-uniform or segmental aqueous outflow.

Structural Biophysics Research Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK.


2.5.1 Trabecular meshwork (Part of: 2 Anatomical structures in glaucoma > 2.5 Meshwork)
3.2 Electron microscopy (Part of: 3 Laboratory methods)

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