Light microscopic variation of fiber cell size, shape and ordering in the equatorial plane of bovine and human lenses.
PURPOSE: A rapid means was sought to visualize and quantify the cross-sectional areas of fiber cells, the variations of cell area, and the regularity of packing in the equatorial plane of normal adult bovine and normal aged human lenses. METHODS: Vibratome sections of bovine and human lenses were fixed, embedded in LR White resin, and sectioned for light microscopic observation. Image analysis was performed to determine the cross-sectional areas of fiber cells in selected nuclear regions. RESULTS: Examination of bovine lenses revealed a pattern of cell size and shape in each region that was similar to that recently reported for normal human lenses (1). In the equatorial plane of bovine lenses, average cross-sectional areas were 20 +/- 6 micron2 in the adult nucleus, 43 +/- 19 micron2 in the fetal nucleus, and 63 +/- 61 micron2 in the embryonic nucleus. Light microscopy of human lenses was consistent with our previous electron microscopic observations. Moreover, in both bovine and human lenses, the distribution of cell sizes and the number of cell layers was readily available for each region. Overviews of the equatorial plane demonstrated a gradual improvement in the regular packing of radial cell columns proceeding from the relatively disordered embryonic and fetal nuclei through the well-ordered adult nucleus to the highly regular cortical region. CONCLUSIONS: Light microscopy revealed the highly irregular packing and large average size of cells in the embryonic nucleus and the gradual reduction in size and progressive improvements in regularity of packing in the outer layers. The methods used here have the advantage of rapidly giving a continuous view of the fiber cell structure and arrangement which is not available using electron microscopy.
al-Ghoul, KJ; Costello, MJ
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