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Collagen Fibrils and Proteoglycans of Macular Dystrophy Cornea: Ultrastructure and 3D Transmission Electron Tomography

  • Saeed Akhtar (a1), Hind M. Alkatan (a2), Omar Kirat (a2), Adnan A. Khan (a1) and Turki Almubrad (a1)...


We report the ultrastructure and 3D transmission electron tomography of collagen fibrils (CFs), proteoglycans (PGs), and microfibrils within the CF of corneas of patients with macular corneal dystrophy (MCD). Three normal corneas and three MCD corneas from three Saudi patients (aged 25, 31, and 49 years, respectively) were used for this study. The corneas were processed for light and electron microscopy studies. 3D images were composed from a set of 120 ultrastructural images using the program “Composer” and visualized using the program “Visuliser Kai”. 3D image analysis of MCD cornea showed a clear organization of PGs around the CF at very high magnification and degeneration of the microfibrils within the CF. Within the MCD cornea, the PG area in the anterior stroma was significantly larger than in the middle and posterior stroma. The PG area in the MCD cornea was significantly larger compared with the PG area in the normal cornea. The CF diameter and inter-fibrillar spacing of the MCD cornea were significantly smaller compared with those of the normal cornea. Ultrastructural 3D imaging showed that the production of unsulfated keratin sulfate (KS) may lead to the degeneration of micro-CFs within the CFs. The effect of the unsulfated KS was higher in the anterior stroma compared with the posterior stroma.


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Collagen Fibrils and Proteoglycans of Macular Dystrophy Cornea: Ultrastructure and 3D Transmission Electron Tomography

  • Saeed Akhtar (a1), Hind M. Alkatan (a2), Omar Kirat (a2), Adnan A. Khan (a1) and Turki Almubrad (a1)...


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