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C Cintron, H I Covington, C L Kublin; Morphologic analyses of proteoglycans in rabbit corneal scars.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1990;31(9):1789-1798.
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Ultrastructural localization of proteoglycans (PGs) in 1-week- to 2-year-old scar was determined by staining with cuprolinic blue dye (CBD) after specific enzymatic digestion of keratan sulfate (KS) glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) or chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans (CSs). High critical electrolyte conditions were maintained for CBD-staining, specific for high-sulfated GAGs. Although KS was detected in the 1-week-old wound, no CBD-stained KS was seen in the anterior stroma adjacent to the wound. The CS was present throughout the 1-week-old wound and adjacent stroma, and PGs were biosynthetically 35SO4-labeled in normal stroma. Subsequently, radioactivity from labeled PGs in normal stroma adjacent to the wound moved into scar tissue during healing. Marked sensitivity of PGs to Chondroitinase ABC indicated an abundance of CS in 2-week-old scars. Punctate CBD-staining and immunohistochemical evidence suggested chemically altered KS is present in the 2-week-old anterior scar. The pattern of CBD-staining in 1- and 2-week scars, after chondroitinase treatment, suggested KS in the younger scar is similar to adult high-sulfated GAG, whereas KS in the 2-week scar contains primarily newly synthesized low-sulfated KS. The latter is consistent with previous immunochemical and biochemical analyses. Cytochemical and immunohistochemical evidence indicated that KS is not present in the 2-week-old posterior scar. By the week 8 of healing, CBD-stained KS was present throughout most of the scar, except along the posterior margin, consistent with earlier stages of healing. The CBD-stained structures in the first 8 weeks of healing were reminiscent of stained GAGs in normal developing cornea. This fetal-like CBD-staining pattern seen in scar, however, changed to that of the normal adult by the 2nd year of healing. The significance of these observations relate to our contention that healing adult cornea recapitulates some ontogenetic events of the normal cornea, and that the nonuniform distribution and chemical properties of GAGs in scar tissue are a function of the movement of existing proteoglycans and de novo synthesis of altered macromolecules.
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