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Proteoglycans as dynamic regulators of the organised collagen fibril architecture in the cornea: an electron tomography study of the mouse corneal stroma

Parfitt, Geraint 2011. Proteoglycans as dynamic regulators of the organised collagen fibril architecture in the cornea: an electron tomography study of the mouse corneal stroma. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Abstract

The cornea is the primary refractive element of the eye and is also fundamental to the protection of the visual system. Collagen is the major constituent of the cornea, where it is organised in a lattice that enables corneal transparency. Proteoglycan macromolecules are thought to regulate the diameter and spatial order of collagen fibrils in the cornea, which are both pre-requisites for corneal transparency, although the mechanisms by which they organise fibrils are not fully elucidated. This investigation examined the morphology, morphometry and organisation of proteoglycans three-dimensionally, in both normal and genetically altered mouse corneas, to gain a greater understanding of proteoglycan structure-function relationships. In summary, we found that proteoglycans are primarily responsible for the remarkable collagen organisation in the mouse cornea, which allows for corneal transparency. The self- association of proteoglycans into complexes is likely to result in a robust attachment of neighbouring fibrils and provides biomechanical strength, whilst sulphation patterns are seen to have a direct effect on the aggregation potential of proteoglycans. Removal of proteoglycans, particularly lumican, affects the regulation of both fibril size and spatial order, both required for corneal transparency.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
ISBN: 9781303222665
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:31
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/55104

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