There is general agreement that the keratocytes undergo morphologic changes after the cornea has been wounded, but the question of whether they actually become the fibroblasts which collect at the edge of the wound and subsequently produce the scar has been disputed.
Weimar1 acknowledged that some keratocytes became fibroblasts following wounding, but calculated that their rate of movement was not rapid enough to account for the large numbers of fibroblasts which appeared at the wound edge. She observed numerous monocytes migrating from the limbus in wounded rat corneas and identified transitional forms which led her to conclude that 65% of these fibroblasts were derived from monocytes within 60 hours after wounding.
Wolter2 described the steps by which keratocytes became fibroblast-like cells following an incision in rabbits, but thought that he could distinguish these transformed cells from the fibroblast which invaded from the limbus. He believed that the latter
KITANO S, GOLDMAN JN. Cytologic and Histochemical Changes in Corneal Wound Repair. Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;76(3):345–354. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archopht.1966.03850010347008
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