Pressure effects on the distribution of extracellular materials in the rhesus monkey outflow apparatus.
An electron-microscopic investigation was conducted to determine the distribution of extracellular materials in the rhesus monkey outflow apparatus at various maintained levels of intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure was maintained at either 0,8, 15, 22, 30, or 50 mm Hg, by an intracameral needle attached to a reservoir system for a period of 1 h. Thereafter the eyes were fixed either by intracameral perfusion of glutaraldehyde at the appropriate pressure level, or by carotid perfusion of the fixative, or by rapid enucleation and immersion fixation. The electron-dense cationic stains, colloidal thorium and colloidal iron were used to indicate the presence of carbohydrate-rich extracellular materials in the drainage tissues. In the control tissue (15 mm Hg), heavy concentrations of stain were detected within the cores of the trabeculae and in the extracellular spaces of the endothelial meshwork. With pressure elevation there was a progressive decrease in the surface staining on the meshwork cells, an increase in staining intensity within the trabecular cores, and a 'washout' of extracellular materials from the spaces of the endothelial meshwork. The washout was thought to occur via giant vacuoles up to 30 mm Hg, but at 50 mm Hg the process was accelerated by loss of association between the cells of the canal endothelial monolayer. Over the entire pressure range 0 to 50 mm Hg, there was an increase in the staining on the apical surface of the canal endothelium which was associated with a decrease in the incidence of micropinosomes.
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