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Histogenesis of the intravitreal membrane and secondary vitreous in the mouse

Masataka Ito, Misako Nakashima, Nobuo Tsuchida, Junko Imaki, Masahiko Yoshioka
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 2007, 48 (5): 1923-30

PURPOSE: The intravitreal membrane (IVM) is a membranous structure between the primary and secondary vitreous bodies in developing mammalian eyes. In this study, for the first time the histogenesis of the IVM and the relationship between the hyaloid vasculature and the IVM was characterized in newborn mice.

METHODS: Eyes of mice less than 12 days old were fixed and embedded. From these, serial paraffin-embedded sections were made for lectin histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and picrosirius red (PSR) staining, and ultrathin sections were made for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Eight biotinylated lectins and antibodies for laminin and type IV collagen were used.

RESULTS: Among the eight lectins tested, concanavalin A (Con A) agglutinin, Ricinus communis agglutinin I, and wheat germ agglutinin demonstrated strong positive staining in the IVM and vitreous fibrils of the primary and secondary vitreous bodies. They also bound to the internal limiting membrane (ILM) of the retina. At postgestational day 4, the secondary vitreous first appeared between the ILM and the vasa hyaloidea propria (VHP). Immunohistochemical staining revealed that the IVM consists of extracellular matrix components including laminin and type IV collagen, whereas PSR staining and TEM showed that collagen fibrils in the IVM are bundled and continuous with the basement membrane of hyaloid capillaries or the VHP.

CONCLUSIONS: Lectin histochemistry and immunohistochemistry provided good methods for visualizing the structures of the IVM and vitreous fibrils. These results suggest that the IVM is separated from the basement membrane of the retinal ILM along with the vascular network of the VHP when the secondary vitreous begins to form.


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