Collagens in the aged human macula.
Immunogold cytochemistry was used to investigate the fine structural distribution of collagen types I-VI in Bruch's membrane and choroid of the aged human macula. Macular tissue was obtained from ten eyes, and processed for cryoultramicrotomy and London Resin white embedding. Striated collagen fibrils within the inner and outer collagenous layers were found to contain collagen types I, III and V. In addition, type V collagen was also present in the basement membrane of the choriocapillaris. Gross thickening of the choriocapillaris basement membrane was attributed to the deposition of type IV collagen. However, type IV collagen appeared to be absent from the basement membrane of the retinal pigment epithelium. The interesting location of type VI collagen on the choroidal side of the choriocapillaris suggested that its function is to anchor the choriocapillaris onto the choroid. The collagens studied were absent from fibrous banded material, long-spacing collagen, the elastic layer and amorphous granular material. It was concluded that, of the collagen types studied, only the deposition of type IV collagen contributes to the age-related thickening of Bruch's membrane.
Marshall, GE; Konstas, AG; Reid, GG; Edwards, JG; Lee, WR
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