Major differences have been identified between corneal endothelial cells in situ and those grown in culture. Cells in intact porcine corneal endothelium were studied and compared with primary cultures of the same cells either in suspension or in monolayers which had been grown on plastic (Nunc, Permonax). Differences were identified in the organization of the cytoskeleton (filamentous actin) between the cells in situ and in monolayer culture. The ability to withstand exposure to cryoprotective concentrations of Me(2)SO also varied substantially depending on whether the cells were in situ or in culture. These results underline the need for caution in the use of cells in culture as a model for studying the nature of injury to cells during the freezing of whole tissues.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.