The pathogenesis of posterior polymorphous dystrophy was analyzed by immunohistologic methods. Sections of corneal buttons from two patients undergoing transplantation owing to posterior polymorphous dystrophy were stained with 2B4.14.1, a monoclonal antibody that reacts with human corneal endothelium, and with a cocktail of antihuman cytokeratin monoclonal antibodies that do not react with normal corneal endothelium. Single-stained sections revealed a variegated, intermittent staining pattern of antibody reactive and nonreactive cells. Double-stained sections revealed some cells that stained with only one of the antibodies and many cells that stained with both antibodies. The presence of cells staining positively for both 2B4.14.1 antigen and cytokeratins supports the hypothesis that the cytokeratin-expressing epithelial-like cells found in corneas with posterior polymorphous dystrophy arise via a metaplastic process in which the phenotype of endothelial cells becomes progressively abnormal.
Ross JR, Foulks GN, Sanfilippo FP, Howell DN. Immunohistochemical Analysis of the Pathogenesis of Posterior Polymorphous Dystrophy. Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(3):340-345. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100030096027