Collagen organization in the chicken cornea and structural alterations in the retinopathy, globe enlarged (rge) phenotype - An X-ray diffraction study

Craig Boote, Sally Hayes, Simon Jones, Andrew J. Quantock, Paul M. Hocking, Chris F. Inglehearn, Manir Ali, Keith M. Meek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

An investigation into the collagenous structure of the mature avian cornea is presented. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction is employed to assess collagen organization in 9-month-old chicken corneas. The central 2-4 mm corneal region features a preponderance of fibrils directed along the superior-inferior and nasal-temporal orthogonal meridians. More peripherally the orientation of fibrils alters in favor of a predominantly tangential arrangement. The chicken cornea appears to be circumscribed by an annulus of fibrils that extends into the limbus. The natural arrangement of collagen in the chicken cornea is discussed in relation to corneal shape and the mechanical requirements of avian corneal accommodation. Equivalent data are also presented from age-matched blind chickens affected with the retinopathy, globe enlarged (rge) mutation, characterized by an abnormally thick and flat cornea. The data indicate considerable realignment and redistribution of collagen lamellae in the peripheral rge cornea. In contrast to normal chickens, no obvious tangential collagen alignment was evident in the periphery of rge corneas. In mammals, the presence of a limbal fibril annulus is believed to be important in corneal shape preservation. We postulate that corneal flattening in rge chickens may be related to biomechanical changes brought about by an alteration in collagen arrangement at the corneal periphery. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

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