Studies on the Intraocular Fluids
In the first of this series of papers (Duke-Elder and Davson, 1949) a detailed study was made of the entry of sugars into the various parts of the eye from the blood; the present paper is a continuation of the same study with regard to salts. Exchanges of water between the blood and intra-ocular fluids occur rapidly, so rapidly as to indicate that these exchanges take place over a wide area of contact between the two systems and are not confined to a limited region such as the ciliary body. The osmosis of water into, or out of, the eye must influence the intra-ocular pressure immediately and effectively; and, since it is the salt content of the two fluids that largely determines their osmotic pressures, the conditions under which salts may penetrate from the blood into the intra-ocular fluids are of fundamental importance. It has been shown from this laboratory that the osmotic pressure of the aqueous humour is greater than that of plasma (Benham, Duke-Elder and Hodgson, 1937) and again that the difference in osmotic pressure is due, at least in part, to an excess of sodium and chloride ions in the aqueous humour over that demanded by the Donnan equilibrium (Davson, Duke-Elder and Maurice, 1948). On these grounds, therefore, we may expect that sodium and chloride will be secreted into the eye, but whether or not the only mode of entry of these and other ions is by a secretory process from the ciliary epithelium is a matter that has not vet been decided.
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