May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Regulation of Embryonic Eye Size and Retinal Growth by Glycosaminoglycans in the Vitreous Body
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • W. Halfter
    Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  W. Halfter, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  National Science Foundation (IBN0240774)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 1737. doi:
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      W. Halfter; Regulation of Embryonic Eye Size and Retinal Growth by Glycosaminoglycans in the Vitreous Body. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1737. doi:

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

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Purpose: : The vitreous body (VB) is a transparent, extracellular matrix structure that fills the vitreous cavity of the eye. Major constituents of the VB are hyaluronic acid (HA) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), highly charged, linear carbohydrate polymers. The present experiments investigate whether HA and GAGs participate in regulating eye size during development and whether changes in eye size lead to an up or down-regulation of cell proliferation in the retina.

Methods: : Chondroitin sulfate (CS), heparin (HS), dextran sulfate (DS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) were injected into the vitreous cavity of E5 chick embryos. Eye size was assessed 1-5 days after the injections. Retinal cell counts and BrdU-labeling established whether changes in eye size were paralleled by an increase or decrease in retinal cell proliferation.

Results: : Intraocular injection of CS led to a maximum 30% increase in eye size that was accompanied by a similar increase in retinal cell numbers. HS and DS injections led to a maximum 70% decrease in eye size. Retinal cell numbers remained unchanged in these eyes. HA application had no effect on eye size.

Keywords: extracellular matrix • development • vitreous 

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