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J Umihira, S Nagata, M Nohara, T Hanai, N Usuda, K Segawa; Localization of elastin in the normal and glaucomatous human trabecular meshwork.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1994;35(2):486-494.
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PURPOSE: The extracellular materials (ECMs) in the trabecular meshwork (TM) are thought to play a crucial role in aqueous outflow resistance. Immunohistochemical localization of elastin, one of the major ECMs in the normal and glaucomatous human TM, was examined ultrastructurally. METHODS: Eight normal eye bank eyes and 16 trabeculectomy specimens of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG, 11 eyes from 8 cases), congenital glaucoma (2 eyes from 1 case), and juvenile glaucoma (3 eyes from 2 cases) were embedded in Lowicryl K4M at low temperature. The distribution of elastin was studied by the protein A-gold technique. RESULTS: In normals, the gold particles indicating the antigenic sites for elastin existed mainly in the central amorphous element of the elastic-like fibers, and a few gold particles were observed within the area containing fine granular-like material and fine fibrillar-like material. No labeling was observed in cellular materials or other ECMs. In congenital and juvenile glaucoma, labeling was similar to that observed in normals. In POAG specimens compared to normals, there was an increased amount of elastin-bound immunogold particles along the inner canal endothelium. The increased gold particles, which did not have a fibrillar arrangement and were not enclosed by electron-dense microfibrils, were found within the area containing fine fibrillar-like material. However, labeling within the elastic-like fibers was similar to that observed in normals. CONCLUSIONS: Under electron microscopy, elastin could be localized in the normal and glaucomatous human TM. The results of this investigation suggest that elastin may play an important role in the etiology of POAG.
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