Microstructure characteristics of the cornea in birds and mammals

J Vet Med Sci. 2010 Sep;72(9):1137-43. doi: 10.1292/jvms.09-0470. Epub 2010 Apr 13.


In this study, the microstructure of the cornea was compared among chickens (Gallus gallus), jungle crows (Corvus macrorhynchos), rats (Rattus norvegicus) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The density of keratocytes in the mammals was over 3 times that in the birds. The size of the keratocytes in the birds and rat were significantly lower than those in the rabbit. Using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the bundles of collagen fibers in the birds were found to be well arranged, while those in the mammals were arranged randomly. The collagen lamellae of the birds were significantly thicker than those of the mammals, and the numbers of collagen lamellae in the birds were significantly smaller than in the mammals. The center-to-center distances between the collagen fibrils of the chicken and rabbit were significantly larger than those of the crow and rat. The densities of collagen fibrils in the chicken and rabbit were significantly less than those of the crow and rat.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Chickens
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Coloring Agents
  • Cornea / cytology*
  • Cornea / ultrastructure
  • Crows
  • Mammals
  • Microfibrils / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rabbits
  • Rats


  • Coloring Agents
  • Collagen