Quantitative study of collagen and elastin of the optic nerve head and sclera in human and experimental monkey glaucoma

Curr Eye Res. 1991 Sep;10(9):877-88. doi: 10.3109/02713689109013884.


Quantitative studies of collagen density and fibril size distribution as well as elastin density were carried out in the optic nerve head and sclera of human and experimental monkey glaucoma eyes. The collagen fibrils of the normal lamina cribrosa are smaller and more uniform in size than those of the sclera. This feature may be an adaptation to maximize either elasticity or resistance to mechanical stress. In glaucomatous nerve heads, there is a major disruption of the structure of the lamina cribrosa beam structure, including a decrease in collagen density. The peripapillary sclera undergoes similar collagen density changes to those in the nerve head in human glaucoma eyes. Elastin fiber density is unchanged in the glaucomatous nerve heads that we studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Collagen / ultrastructure*
  • Elastin / analysis
  • Elastin / ultrastructure*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / metabolism
  • Glaucoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Disk / chemistry
  • Optic Disk / ultrastructure*
  • Photography
  • Sclera / chemistry
  • Sclera / ultrastructure*


  • Collagen
  • Elastin