April 1989
Volume 30, Issue 4
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Articles  |   April 1989
Paracellular permeability of corneal and conjunctival epithelia.
Author Affiliations
  • A J Huang
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101.
  • S C Tseng
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101.
  • K R Kenyon
    Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 1989, Vol.30, 684-689. doi:
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      A J Huang, S C Tseng, K R Kenyon; Paracellular permeability of corneal and conjunctival epithelia.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(4):684-689.

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Abstract

The paracellular permeability of normal rabbit cornea and conjunctiva was studied in vivo and in vitro. After intravenous administration, horseradish peroxidase was found to percolate to the intercellular space of conjunctival epithelia and was restricted by the tight junctions of the superficial epithelium. Only minimal tracer was present in the limbus and cornea. The difference between corneal and conjunctival paracellular pathways was further compared in vitro by tissue perfusion studies using various tracers from subepithelial space to apical surface. The intact full-thickness cornea was permeable to mannitol (MW 182) but not to inulin or dextran. The conjunctiva was permeable to mannitol, inulin and FITC-dextran (MW 20,000). The quantitative permeability to 3H-mannitol (X10(-8) cm/sec) of adult rabbit cornea was 0.12 +/- 0.02, which is about 55-fold and 50-fold lower than that of conjunctiva (6.78 +/- 0.21) and peritoneum (6.12 +/- 0.63), respectively. Removal of the corneal epithelium increased the permeability 40-fold; however, removal of the endothelium had little effect on the solute permeation. When both corneal epithelium and endothelium were debrided, the bare stroma became edematous and the permeability increased 70-fold. The permeability of 1-week-old rabbit cornea was 1.32 +/- 0.18, which decreased to 0.46 +/- 0.06 in 2-week-old rabbits, and became similar to the adult level at 4 weeks of age. When Tenon's capsule was included in the perfusion, the conjunctival permeability decreased 2.5-fold. With the apposition of bare corneal stroma to the conjunctiva and Tenon's capsule, the permeability decreased further (4-fold).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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