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The effect of vitamin C deficiency and chronic ultraviolet-B exposure on corneal ultrastructure: a preliminary investigation

Hayes, Sally, Cafaro, Thamara A., Boguslawska, Patrycja J., Kamma-Lorger, Christina S., Boote, Craig, Harris, Jonathan L., Young, Robert David, Hiller, J., Terrill, N., Meek, Keith Michael Andrew and Serra, H. M. 2011. The effect of vitamin C deficiency and chronic ultraviolet-B exposure on corneal ultrastructure: a preliminary investigation. Molecular Vision 17 , pp. 3107-3115.

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Abstract

Purpose: In the visually debilitating condition of climatic droplet keratopathy, corneal transparency is progressively lost. Although the precise cause of the disease and the mechanism by which it progresses are not known, a lifetime exposure to high solar radiation and a vitamin C–deficient diet may be involved in its development. This study examines the effect of dietary ascorbate levels and ultraviolet (UV)-B exposure on corneal stromal structure. Methods: Eight guinea pigs were divided into four treatment groups (A, B, C, and D). For 15 weeks, Groups A and C were fed an ascorbate-rich diet (2 mg/100 g bodyweight/day), while Groups B and D received an ascorbate-deficient diet (0.07 mg/100 g bodyweight/day). For the last 12 weeks of the study, Groups C and D also experienced chronic UVB exposure (0.12 J/cm2 for 40 min/day). Following euthanasia, the corneas were enucleated and their stromal ultrastructure examined using X-ray scattering and electron microscopy. Results: UVB exposure resulted in an increased corneal thickness (p<0.001), but this was not accompanied by a widespread expansion of the collagen fibrillar array, and in the case of ascorbate-deficient animals, stromal thickening was associated with the compaction of collagen fibrils (p<0.01). Neither UVB exposure nor ascorbic acid deficiency caused any change in the average diameter or D-periodicity of the stromal collagen fibrils. Conclusions: UVB-induced changes in the corneal ultrastructure were most pronounced in animals fed an ascorbic acid–deficient diet. This suggests that ascorbic acid may play a vital role in protecting the corneal stroma from the harmful effects of UVB.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Pharmacy
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Molecular Vision
ISSN: 1090-0535
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 October 2016
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 22:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/37021

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