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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/14781

Title: Formation of stromal collagen fibrils and proteoglycans in the developing zebrafish cornea
Authors: Saeed Akhtar PhD
Keywords: collagen fibrils; cornea; embryonic development; eye; human cornea; proteoglycans; zebrafish
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Acta Ophthalmologica Journal
Abstract: Purpose: Collagen fibrils and proteoglycans are the main components of the corneal extracellular matrix and corneal transparency depends crucially on their proper arrangement. In the present study, we investigated the formation of collagen fibrils and proteoglycans in the developing cornea of the zebrafish, a model organism used to study vertebrate embryonic development and genetic disease. Methods: We employed thin-section electron microscopy to investigate the ultrastructure of the zebrafish cornea at different developmental stages. Results: The layering of the zebrafish cornea into an epithelium, a Bowman’s layer, stroma and endothelium was observed starting at 72 hr post-fertilization. At this stage, the stroma contained orthogonally arranged collagen fibrils and small proteoglycans. The density of proteoglycans increased gradually throughout subsequent development of the cornea. In the stroma of 2-week-old larvae, the collagen fibrils were organized into thin lamellae and were separated by very large, randomly distributed proteoglycans. At 4 weeks, a regular arrangement of proteoglycans in relation to the collagen fibrils was observed for the first time and the lamellae were also thickened. Conclusion: The present study, for the first time, provides ultrastructural details of collagen fibril and proteoglycan development in the zebrafish cornea. Furthermore, it directly correlates the collagen fibril and proteoglycan composition of the zebrafish cornea with that of the human cornea. The similarities between the two species suggest that the zebrafish could serve as a model for investigating the genetics of human corneal development and diseases.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/14781
Appears in Collections:College of Applied Medical Sciences

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