(1/1033) Intercellular junctions in the ciliary epithelium.

The fine structure of the intercellular junctions in the ciliary epithelium of rhesus monkeys and rabbits was studied with conventional electron microscopy of thin-sectioned specimens and the freeze-fracturing technique. In the rhesus monkey, a zonula occludens, zonula adhaerens, gap junctions, and desmosomes interconnect the nonpigmented cells, whereas gap junctions, puncta adhaerentia, and desmosomes connect pigmented to nonpigmented cells, and pigmented cells to one another. In the rabbit, desmosomes are absent between nonpigmented cells, and substituted for by puncta adhaerentia. The zonula occludens between nonpigmented cells greatly varies in its complexity in different regions of the cell perimeter, and in places, it may consist of very few intramembrane strands; this suggests that the ciliary epithelium is relatively leaky to ions and small molecules. Gap junctions are ubiquitous in the ciliary epithelium and particularly numerous at the interface between pigmented and nonpigmented layers; this finding indicates that the cells of the ciliary epithelium are joined in a metabolic syncytium. All gap junctions are characterized by the crystalline configuration which is typical of the uncoupled state; furthermore, in specimens fixed by immersion, they may be caused by uncoupling and take place in the time interval elapsing between interruption of the blood supply and arrival of the fixative fluid. Puncta adhaerentia resemble zonulae adhaerentes in their structural details but are macular in shape instead of encompassing the cell perimeter in a beltlike fashion. In contrast with desmosomes, the intercellular cleft of puncta adhaerentia has an irregular width and contains opaque material, but this never gives rise to the central band typical of desmosomes. On the inner aspect of the junctional membranes, there is a layer of fluffy material but no plaque of insertion for a bundle of tonofilaments. Finally, puncta adhaerentia have no representation in the interior of the plasmalemma and are intimately associated with cytoplasmic microfilaments. They probably anchor to the plasmalemma the contractile apparatus of the ciliary epithelial cells.  (+info)

(2/1033) Microvascular loops and networks as prognostic indicators in choroidal and ciliary body melanomas.

BACKGROUND: Malignant melanoma of the ciliary body and choroid of the eye is a tumor that disseminates frequently, and 50% of the diagnosed patients die within 10 years. We investigated the hypothesis that, by histopathologic analysis of the arrangement of microvessels (i.e., small blood vessels) in loops and networks, we might be able to differentiate better those patients with a favorable prognosis from those with a poor prognosis. METHODS: We conducted a population-based, retrospective cohort study of melanoma-specific and all-cause mortality for 167 consecutive patients who had an eye surgically removed because of malignant choroidal or ciliary body melanoma during the period from 1972 through 1981. Microvascular loops and networks were evaluated independently by two pathologists who were unaware of patient outcome. RESULTS: Microvascular patterns could be assessed in 134 (80%) of 167 melanoma specimens. The 10-year probability of melanoma-specific survival was worse if microvascular loops (0.45 versus 0.83; two-sided P<.0001) and networks (0.41 versus 0.72, two-sided P<.0001) were present. In multivariate Cox regression analysis of melanoma-specific survival, the hazard ratios were 1.66 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.19-2.30) for the presence of loops and networks as a combined three-category variable, 2.36 (95% CI = 1.37-4.05) for the presence of epithelioid cells, 1.11 (95% CI = 1.03-1.19) for the largest basal tumor diameter (evaluated as a continuous variable), and 2.14 (95% CI = 1.25-3.67) for ciliary body involvement. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with malignant uveal melanoma who have a favorable prognosis can be distinguished from those with a poor prognosis by histopathologic analysis of microvascular patterns in uveal melanoma tumor specimens.  (+info)

(3/1033) Hyaluronan synthase expression in bovine eyes.

PURPOSE: Hyaluronan (HA), a high-molecular-weight linear glycosaminoglycan, is a component of the extracellular matrix (ECM). It is expressed in eyes and plays important roles in many biologic processes, including cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation. Hyaluronan is produced by HA synthase (HAS), which has three isoforms: HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3. In this study, the HAS expression in the anterior segment of bovine eyes was investigated to determine the significance of HA in eyes. METHODS: To obtain bovine HAS probes, degenerate oligonucleotide primers, based on well-conserved amino acid sequences including the catalytic region of each HAS isoform, were used for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to amplify mRNA from bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCECs). Hyaluronan synthase-1 expression in the anterior segment of bovine eyes at the protein level was investigated by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: All three HAS isoforms were expressed in BCECs at the mRNA level. Amplified cDNA fragments of HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3 from BCECs can be aligned to human counterparts, showing similarities of 100%, 97.3%, and 100%, respectively, at the amino acid level. Hyaluronan synthase 1 was expressed at the protein level in corneal epithelium, keratocyte, corneal endothelium, conjunctival epithelium, ciliary epithelium, capillary endothelium, and trabecular meshwork. CONCLUSIONS: Hyaluronan synthase isoforms were expressed in the ocular anterior segment and are speculated to be involved in HA production in situ.  (+info)

(4/1033) Latrunculin-A causes mydriasis and cycloplegia in the cynomolgus monkey.

PURPOSE: To determine the effect of latrunculin (LAT)-A, which binds to G-actin and disassembles actin filaments, on the pupil, accommodation, and isolated ciliary muscle (CM) contraction in monkeys. METHODS: Pupil diameter (vernier calipers) and refraction (coincidence refractometry) were measured every 15 minutes from 0.75 to 3.5 hours after topical LAT-A 42 microg (approximately 10 microM in the anterior chamber [AC]). Refraction was measured every 5 minutes from 0.5 to 1.5 hours after intracameral injection of 10 microl of 50 microM LAT-A (approximately 5 microM in AC), with intramuscular infusion of 1.5 mg/kg pilocarpine HCl (PILO) during the first 15 minutes of measurements. Pupil diameter was measured at 1 and 2 hours, and refraction was measured every 5 minutes from 1 to 2 hours, after intravitreal injection of 20 microl of 1.25 mM LAT-A (approximately 10 microM in vitreous), with intramuscular infusion of 1.5 mg/kg PILO during the first 15 minutes of measurements (all after topical 2.5% phenylephrine), and contractile response of isolated CM strips, obtained <1 hour postmortem and mounted in a perfusion apparatus, to 10 microM PILO +/- LAT-A was measured at various concentrations. RESULTS: Topical LAT-A of 42 microg dilated the pupil without affecting refraction. Intracameral LAT-A of 5 microM inhibited miotic and accommodative responses to intramuscular PILO. Intravitreal LAT-A of 10 microM had no effect on accommodative or miotic responses to intramuscular PILO. LAT-A dose-dependently relaxed the PILO-contracted CM by up to 50% at 3 microM in both the longitudinal and circular vectors. CONCLUSIONS: In monkeys, LAT-A causes mydriasis and cycloplegia, perhaps related to its known ability to disrupt the actin microfilament network and consequently to affect cell contractility and adhesion. Effects of LAT-A on the iris and CM may have significant physiological and clinical implications.  (+info)

(5/1033) A3 adenosine receptors regulate Cl- channels of nonpigmented ciliary epithelial cells.

Adenosine stimulates Cl- channels of the nonpigmented (NPE) cells of the ciliary epithelium. We sought to identify the specific adenosine receptors mediating this action. Cl- channel activity in immortalized human (HCE) NPE cells was determined by monitoring cell volume in isotonic suspensions with the cationic ionophore gramicidin present. The A3-selective agonist N6-(3-iodobenzyl)-adenosine-5'-N-methyluronamide (IB-MECA) triggered shrinkage (apparent Kd = 55 +/- 10 nM). A3-selective antagonists blocked IB-MECA-triggered shrinkage, and A3-antagonists (MRS-1097, MRS-1191, and MRS-1523) also abolished shrinkage produced by 10 microM adenosine when all four known receptor subtypes are occupied. The A1-selective agonist N6-cyclopentyladenosine exerted a small effect at 100 nM but not at higher or lower concentrations. The A2A agonist CGS-21680 triggered shrinkage only at high concentration (3 microM), an effect blocked by MRS-1191. IB-MECA increased intracellular Ca2+ in HCE cells and also stimulated short-circuit current across rabbit ciliary epithelium. A3 message was detected in both HCE cells and rabbit ciliary processes using RT-PCR. We conclude that human HCE cells and rabbit ciliary processes possess A3 receptors and that adenosine can activate Cl- channels in NPE cells by stimulating these A3 receptors.  (+info)

(6/1033) Higher proportions of type C than of types A and B natriuretic peptide receptors exist in the rat ciliary body.

We investigate the interaction of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) with their receptors (NPRA, NPRB and NPRC), as well as the proportion and localization of those receptors in the rat ciliary body. Binding assays and affinity cross-linking experiments demonstrated the presence of the NPRC receptor type. However, the three natriuretic peptides stimulate the guanylate cyclase activity in the ciliary body membranes suggesting the presence of the NPRA and NPRB receptor type. Microautoradiographic data show that the NPRs are localized in the whole ciliary body. Our results indicated that NPRC is the most prominent receptor type in this tissue.  (+info)

(7/1033) Dendritic cells and macrophages in the uveal tract of the normal mouse eye.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Dendritic cells (DC) and macrophages are components of the immune cell populations in the uveal tract whose density, distribution, turnover, and function may play a role in the maintenance of immunological homeostasis in the eye. Little is known of these cells in the mouse eye despite this being the predominant experimental model in many studies of ocular immune responses and immunoinflammatory mediated eye diseases. The aim of the present study was to obtain further immunophenotypic data on resident tissue macrophages and DC populations in the mouse uveal tract. METHODS: Pieces of iris, ciliary body, and choroid dissected from perfusion fixed BALB/c mice were incubated whole in a variety of anti-macrophage and DC monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Labelled cells were visualised using either single or double immunoperoxidase techniques. RESULTS: Quantitative analysis and double immunolabelling revealed that 80% of F4/80(+) cells (a mAb that recognises both DC and macrophages) in the iris are macrophages (SER4(+)). The iris contained a network of Ia+ cells (412 (SD 130) cells/mm2) of which two thirds appear to be DC. A similar pattern was observed in the ciliary body and choroid. Only a few DC in the uveal tract were very weakly reactive for mAbs which recognise B7-1 (CD80), B7-2 (CD86), beta2 integrin (mAb N418), and multivesicular bodies associated with antigen presentation (mAb M342). CONCLUSIONS: The present study reveals that the mouse uveal tract, like the rat, contains rich networks of DC and resident tissue macrophages. The networks of resident tissue macrophages in the mouse uveal tract closely resemble similar networks in non-ocular tissues. The phenotype of uveal tract DC suggests they are in the "immature" phase of their life cycle, similar to Langerhans cells of the skin, thus implying their role in situ within the eye is antigen capture and not antigen presentation.  (+info)

(8/1033) Age-related changes in human ciliary muscle and lens: a magnetic resonance imaging study.

PURPOSE: To use high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR) images of the eye to directly measure the relationship between ciliary muscle contraction and lens response with advancing age. METHODS: A General Electric, 1.5-Tesla MR imager and a custom-designed eye imaging coil were used to collect high-resolution MR images from 25 subjects, 22 through 83 years of age. A nonmagnetic binocular stimulus apparatus was used to induce both relaxed accommodation (0.1 diopter [D]) and strong accommodative effort (8.0 D). Measurements of the ciliary muscle ring diameter (based on the inner apex), lens equatorial diameter, and lens thickness were derived from the MR images. RESULTS: Muscle contraction is present in all subjects and reduces only slightly with advancing age. A decrease in the diameter of the unaccommodated ciliary muscle ring was highly correlated with advancing age. Lens equatorial diameter does not correlate with age for either accommodative state. Although unaccommodated lens thickness (i.e., lens minor axis length) increases with age, the thickness of the lens under accommodative effort is only modestly age-dependent. CONCLUSIONS: Ciliary muscle contractile activity remains active in all subjects. A decrease in the unaccommodated ciliary muscle diameter, along with the previously noted increase in lens thickness (the "lens paradox"), demonstrates the greatest correlation with advancing age. These results support the theory that presbyopia is actually the loss in ability to disaccommodate due to increases in lens thickness, the inward movement of the ciliary ring, or both.  (+info)