April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Mapping the entire nerve architecture and sensory neuropeptide distribution of rabbit iris
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jiucheng He
    Ophthalmology & Neuroscience Ctr, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Haydee E P Bazan
    Ophthalmology & Neuroscience Ctr, LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jiucheng He, None; Haydee E Bazan, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 4446. doi:
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      Jiucheng He, Haydee E P Bazan; Mapping the entire nerve architecture and sensory neuropeptide distribution of rabbit iris. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4446.

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To disclose the entire architecture and sensory neuropeptide content of rabbit iridal innervation.

 
Methods
 

Ten New Zealand albino rabbits were euthanatized and the whole irises were excised and fixed. The tissues were stained with antibodies against a neuronal-class β-tubulin III, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP), and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and whole-mount images were acquired to build a whole view of the iridal nerve architecture. To obtain the relative contents of the neuropeptides in the iris, after neuropeptide staining, the specimens were double stained with β-tubulin III. Relative nerve fiber densities for each fiber population were assessed quantitatively on the basis of whole mount view of the entire nerve architecture by computer-assisted analysis.

 
Results
 

The iris nerves are extensions of the ciliary nerves. The thick nerves run in the iris stroma close to the anterior epithelia, forming 4-5 stromal nerve rings from the iris periphery to the pupillary margin. In the anterior surface, fine divisions derivate from the stromal nerves constitute a nerve network-like structure to innervate the epithelial cells, with the pupillary margin having the densest innervation. In the posterior side, the nerve bundles run along with the pupil dilator muscles in a radial pattern around the pupil. The morphology of iris nerves in both sides changes with the pupil sizes. Double staining showed that in the anterior epithelia, CGRP-positive nerve fibers constitute about 60%, while SP-positive nerves constitute about 30% of the total nerve contents. In the posterior side, CGRP-positive nerve fibers are about 75% of total nerve contents, while SP take up only 20%. In addition, there is a very small amount of VIP-positive nerve fibers (less than 1%).

 
Conclusions
 

This is the first study to show a three dimensional map of the entire iris nerve architecture. Considering the anatomical location, the high expression of CGRP and SP implies that these neuropeptides may play important role in the pathogenesis of anterior uveitis, glaucoma, cataracts and chronic ocular pain.

 
 
The images show the different patterns of nerve architectures in the anterior and posterior surface of iris.
 
The images show the different patterns of nerve architectures in the anterior and posterior surface of iris.
 
 
The images show the expression of CGRP-positive nerves in the pupillary margin.
 
The images show the expression of CGRP-positive nerves in the pupillary margin.
 
Keywords: 745 uvea • 571 iris • 614 neuropeptides  
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