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D. F. SULKIN, N. M. SULKIN, H. NUSHAN; Corneal Fine Structure in Experimental Scorbutus. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1972;11(8):633-643.
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Cornea of scorbutic but otherwise normal guinea pigs were studied with the electron microscope. The corneal epithelium of the guinea pig on an ascorbic acid-deficient diet showed variable degrees of changes depending on the duration of the nutritional insult. The fine structural alterations observed included marked epithelial edema with enlarged intercellular spaces, but with intact desmosome attachments, dilated endoplasmic reticulum, and swollen mitochondria. Also observed were degenerating cells in the middle layer and extensive changes in the basal cell profiles with dense cytoplasm, loss of hemidesmosomes, interrupted basement lamina, and protruding cytoplasm into the stroma with concurrent changes in the stroma. The collagen pattern was disrupted, some of the modified keratocytes showed great activity. Vascular invasion was noted in two ofthe cornea studied.The alterations observed here are similar to those described in a variety of pathologic conditionsof thecornea. It is suggested that ascorbic acid has a direct influence on maintaining the integrity of the cornea.
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