Proteoglycan alterations in the rabbit corneal stroma after a lamellar incision

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2003 Apr;29(4):821-4. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(02)02054-0.


Purpose: To investigate proteoglycans under minimally damaged epithelium after a lamellar microkeratome incision.

Setting: Collaborating university departments.

Methods: Anterior lamellar caps were excised from rabbit corneas and then resutured in place. Healing tissue was examined by electron microscopy with proteoglycan staining.

Results: In the weeks after surgery, regions of disorganized stromal matrix were populated by sulfated proteoglycan filaments that were much larger (up to 300 nm long) than those in quiescent stroma.

Conclusions: Large, sulfated proteoglycans existed in rabbit corneas healing from lamellar incisions. These molecules appear to be a normal feature of corneal wound healing; because of their water-binding capacity, they might aid tissue restructuring.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Copper
  • Corneal Stroma / metabolism*
  • Corneal Stroma / surgery*
  • Corneal Stroma / ultrastructure
  • Indoles
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / methods
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Proteoglycans / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Wound Healing


  • Indoles
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Proteoglycans
  • copper phthalocyanine
  • Copper