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October 1976

Human Corneal Endothelial Layer Repair During Organ Culture

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Minnesota (Drs Doughman, Rodman, Lindstrom, and Mr Byrnes); and the Research Service, Veterans Administration Center, Wood, Wis, and the Department of Ophthalmology and Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Dr Van Horn).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(10):1791-1796. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910040565016

• Circular freeze-thaw endothelial wounds were created on paired human corneas. Ultrastructural and physiological studies were performed after organ culture (OC) incubation at 37 C from 1 to 21 days as well as on fresh noncultured controls. As early as 24 hours after injury, OC corneas demonstrated ultrastructurally intact endothelial cells at the margin of the wound, elongating and sliding toward its center. All OC corneas were completely covered by ultrastructurally intact and physiologically functioning endothelial cells by seven days of OC. These cells were approximately twice normal size. Enlarged endothelial cells that maintained deturgescence function were seen in the wounded area after 14 and 21 days of OC. None of the fresh controls demonstrated deturgescence function and in none could ultrastructurally intact endothelial cells be found in the area of the wound. This confirms our hypothesis that during 37 C OC incubation, human corneal endothelium repairs defects in its layer by cells that are physiologically and ultrastructurally intact.