August 1966
Volume 5, Issue 4
Articles  |   August 1966
Corneal endothelium in vitro: Characterization by ultrastructure and histochemistry
Author Affiliations
  • George M. Lowry
    Department of Ophthalmology, Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, Mo.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science August 1966, Vol.5, 355-366. doi:
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      George M. Lowry; Corneal endothelium in vitro: Characterization by ultrastructure and histochemistry. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1966;5(4):355-366.

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

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Rose chamber primary explant cultures of rabbit corneal endothelium were studied in comparison with freshly excised endothelium by means of phase and electron microscopy and dehydrogenase histochemistry. Rapid outgrowth, high mitotic rate, and monolayer covering of the growth surface with polygonal cells were characteristics of the explant cultures. Electron microscopy of endothelial outgrowth into a gelatin foam substrate revealed well-developed desmosomes and intracellular fibrillar systems in the cultured cells. These structures were not present in freshly excised endothelium and are considered to be adaptations to growth in a three dimensional substrate. Cultured cells contained increased amounts of glycogen and decreased rough-surface endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria in comparison with freshly fixed tissue. Histochemical reactions specific for lactic dehydrogenase demonstrated high activity in cultured cells and in areas of fresh endothelium subjected to slight mechanical trauma. No significant lactic dehydrogenase activity was evident in freshly excised nontraumatized endothelium. Rapid morphologic and physiologic adaptation to certain radical environmental changes has been demonstrated by corneal endothelial cells in these experiments


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