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Studies on the cornea. II. The fine structure of Descement's membrane



Studies on the cornea. II. The fine structure of Descement's membrane



Journal of Biophysical and Biochemical Cytology 2(4 Suppl.): 243-252



Descemet's membrane, previously thought to be "structureless," has been found to be characterized by a fine structure of great regularity. Sections perpendicular to the plane of the membrane surface appeared to be cross-striated, with narrow dark bands separated by wide light bands traversed by fine filaments. Tangential sections showed a two-dimensional array of dark nodes and thin internodal filaments which connected each node with the six others around it to form a hexagonal figure. The average distance between nodes, and between the dark bands in transverse sections, was about 1070 A; the width of the nodes was about 270 A; and the width of the connecting filaments was less than 100 A. This pattern has been found in all species of Descemet's membrane so far examined, although it appeared to be better developed in some forms than in others. So far as is known, it has not been observed in any other type of tissue. The differentiation of Descemet's membrane has been followed in the chick embryo. It appeared late and developed slowly but showed the characteristic fine structure from the time it could be clearly identified. The evidence for placing Descemet's membrane in the collagen class of proteins is strongly supplemented by the results obtained from x-ray diffraction examination by Rougvie and Bear.

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Accession: 050417474

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PMID: 13357549


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