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Surface morphology of lens fibers from eyes of normal and microphthalmic (Browman) rats

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The surface features of cortical fibers from lenses of normal adult rats and microphthalmic rats of the Browman strain have been studied by scanning electron microscopy. In the normal lenses, superficial cortical fibers follow a straight course from inner to outer pole whereas the deeper cortical fibers, while straight near the poles, pursue an undulating or zig-zag course at and near the equator. Almost all of the fibers are hexagonal in cross section and all fibers throughout their entire length are bound by interdigitating processes at each corner of the hexagon to corners of two adjacent fibers. Some fibers are also affixed by a single row of ball and socket junctions located on their broad outer and inner surfaces. Lens fibers from Browman rats display both minor and major abnormalities. These included segmentation, formation of incisures and lateral protrusions, corrugation and villous-like alteration of the broad fiber surface and development of parallel ridges on broad surfaces in a basket-weave pattern.

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Correspondence to Dr. M. J. Hollenberg.

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Supported by The Medical Research Council of Canada

Research Fellow of The Medical Research Council of Canada

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Hollenberg, M.J., Wyse, J.P.H. & Lewis, B.J. Surface morphology of lens fibers from eyes of normal and microphthalmic (Browman) rats. Cell Tissue Res. 167, 425–438 (1976).

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Key words

  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Crystalline lens
  • Microphthalmos