June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Three-dimensional quantitative analysis of collagen fibre architecture in human peripapillary sclera
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jacek Pijanka
    Structural Biophysics, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Thomas Sorensen
    Diamond Light Source, Didcot, United Kingdom
  • Thao Nguyen
    The Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Harry Quigley
    Glaucoma Centre of Excellence, Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Craig Boote
    Structural Biophysics, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jacek Pijanka, None; Thomas Sorensen, None; Thao Nguyen, None; Harry Quigley, Sensimed (C), Genetech (C), Merck (C), Sucampo (C); Craig Boote, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 2299. doi:
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      Jacek Pijanka, Thomas Sorensen, Thao Nguyen, Harry Quigley, Craig Boote; Three-dimensional quantitative analysis of collagen fibre architecture in human peripapillary sclera. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2299.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

The collagen fibre architecture of the peripapillary sclera has a significant influence on the optic nerve head (ONH) biomechanics and may therefore be important in glaucoma. Our purpose was to obtain the first quantitative 3D maps of collagen fibre architecture in the human peripapillary sclera.

 
Methods
 

6 mm diameter peripapillary scleral buttons were removed post-mortem from three left normal Caucasian human donor eyes aged 74-79 years with no history of glaucoma. Six 150 µm thick serial sections were obtained for each button using a cryo-microtome. Wide angle x-ray scattering was used to quantify the orientation (Fig. 1), mass distribution and degree of anisotropy (Table 1) of preferentially aligned collagen fibres at 0.5 mm intervals across each section. Second harmonic generation multiphoton microscopy provided visual confirmation of the collagen fibre alignment.

 
Results
 

Consistent with previous findings by our lab and others, a ring of fibres was noted circumscribing the ONH, in which the degree of fibre alignment varied with circumferential position (Fig. 1). New quantitative depth-profiling of the fibre anisotropy revealed that the circumferential fibre ring structure was concentrated in the mid stromal depth (Fig. 1 and Table 1). Meridional fibre bands were also noted anchoring superiorly and inferiorly into the peripapillary fibre ring and radiating obliquely into the mid-posterior sclera. This feature was also more evident in the mid-stromal depth (Fig. 1).

 
Conclusions
 

The anisotropic collagen fibre architecture of the human peripapillary sclera exhibits marked depth-dependency. This may represent a mechanical adaptation designed to protect the ONH from pressure elevations by more effectively reinforcing the peripapillary tissue at its insertion point with the lamina cribrosa.

 
 
Fig.1: Polar vector maps of collagen fibre alignment as a function of tissue depth in the peripapillary sclera and ONH of a normal human eye. The plots have been scaled down by the following factors: orange(1), red(2), brown (3), black(4), green(5), blue(6), purple(7), turquoise(10). Interval between data points:0.5 mm. Section 1 represents the inner 150 µm of tissue, adjacent to choroid.
 
Fig.1: Polar vector maps of collagen fibre alignment as a function of tissue depth in the peripapillary sclera and ONH of a normal human eye. The plots have been scaled down by the following factors: orange(1), red(2), brown (3), black(4), green(5), blue(6), purple(7), turquoise(10). Interval between data points:0.5 mm. Section 1 represents the inner 150 µm of tissue, adjacent to choroid.
 
 
Table 1: Mean fibre anisotropy (expressed as proportion of preferentially aligned fibres) in the peripapillary sclera per section (n=3 eyes).
 
Table 1: Mean fibre anisotropy (expressed as proportion of preferentially aligned fibres) in the peripapillary sclera per section (n=3 eyes).
 
Keywords: 708 sclera • 519 extracellular matrix • 551 imaging/image analysis: non-clinical  
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