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August 1957

Innervation of the Corneal Endothelium of the Eye of the Rabbit

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor
From the Laboratory of Neuropathology and Neuroophthalmology and from the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Michigan Hospital.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;58(2):246-250. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00940010258012

The cornea is known to be supplied by a complicated system of nonmedullated nerve fibers which originate in the ciliary plexus. These nerves enter the cornea from the limbus in the middle layers of the stroma. They lose their myelin sheaths soon after entering the stroma and divide into many branches as they run centrally and anteriorly toward Bowman's membrane, which they penetrate through the pores. The nerve fibrils form a plexus beneath the epithelium, send up branches between the epithelial cells, and end in round or pear-shaped endbulbs (Friedenwald1). Histologic evidence for the existence of three different types of nerve fibers in the corneal stroma has been described elsewhere (Wolter2). Surprisingly, however, the nervous system of the cornea is generally believed to be limited to the stroma, the subepithelium, and the epithelium. In the literature we find no histological reports indicating the existence of nerves and nerve