March 1991
Volume 32, Issue 3
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Articles  |   March 1991
Change of paracellular permeability of ocular surface epithelium by vitamin A deficiency.
Author Affiliations
  • A J Huang
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida.
  • S C Tseng
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida.
  • K R Kenyon
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 1991, Vol.32, 633-639. doi:
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      A J Huang, S C Tseng, K R Kenyon; Change of paracellular permeability of ocular surface epithelium by vitamin A deficiency.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(3):633-639.

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Abstract

Dietary vitamin A deficiency in young rabbits caused advanced squamous metaplasia with keratinization of conjunctival epithelium and concomitant reduced paracellular permeability to 3H-mannitol. Both morphologic and permeability changes were reversed with systemic administration of vitamin A. In adult rabbits, vitamin A deficiency caused milder changes of goblet cell loss and increased cellular stratification in conjunction with reduced permeability in the conjunctiva-like epithelium that covers the vascularized cornea after chemical injury with n-heptanol. Topically applied retinoid (tretinoin 0.1%) did not affect the morphology and permeability of the normal corneal or conjunctival epithelium of rabbits that were not vitamin A deficient. These studies showed that altered permeability is associated with the epithelial abnormality during vitamin A deficiency and helped clarify the physiologic function of retinoids in the ocular surface epithelia in the nondeficient state.

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