Protective role of corneal epithelium against ultraviolet radiation damage
2004 (English)In: Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica, ISSN 1395-3907, Vol. 82, no 6, 714-717 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose: It is known that the corneal epithelium strongly absorbs ultraviolet radiation (UVR). The aim of the present study was to examine the protective role of corneal epithelium against UVR damage by comparing the biological effect of UVR exposure on whole corneas with that on de-epithelialized corneas. Methods: Six New Zealand albino rabbit corneas were exposed to UVR centred around 280 nm at a dose that causes biomicroscopically significant keratitis (012J/cm2). Three corneas underwent manual de-epithelialization prior to UVR exposure. A control group of three rabbits underwent only manual de-epithelialization. The animals were killed 76 hours after treatment. The corneas were stained with haematoxylin and evaluated by light microscopy. Results: Corneas that underwent only the exposure to UVR showed a loss of epithelial cells in the treated area. No damage to keratocytes or the stroma was detected. Corneas that underwent manual de-epithelialization showed a loss of epithelial cells, and also keratocytes in the anterior quarter of the corneal stroma. However, corneas that were exposed to UVR after manual de-epithelialization showed very deep stromal damage. The keratocytes disappeared through the entire thickness of the stroma in the UVR-exposed area. Conclusion: Exposure to UVR at 280 nm alone does not result in any deep damage to the corneal stroma and keratocytes. Manual de-epithelialization causes the disappearance of anterior keratocytes. However, the stromal damage caused by UVR in the de-epithelialized corneas was very deep. The corneal epithelium serves to protect the deeper corneal structures against UVR damage, probably by absorbing a substantial amount of the UVR energy applied to the eye. Copyright © Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2004.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 82, no 6, 714-717 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-24646DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0420.2004.00369.xLocal ID: 6836OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-24646DiVA: diva2:244968