Abnormal extracellular matrix in corneas with pseudophakic bullous keratopathy

Cornea. 1990 Apr;9(2):115-21.


The present study describes biochemical and morphological differences of pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (PBK) corneas as compared with normal corneas. At the ultrastructural level, all PBK corneas studied had abnormal fibrillar material posterior to the Descemet's membrane. In addition, two of the six PBK buttons had subepithelial fibrocellular materials disrupting the epithelial basement membrane and Bowman's layer. Aggregates of collagen fibrils with 110 nm periodicity were occasionally seen within the stroma of the PBK corneas. Isolation and purification of the collagen from the Descemet's membrane/posterior collagenous layer (DM/PCL) showed an increased amount of material with molecular weight in the range of 50-60K daltons (presumably type VIII collagen) and decreased amounts of higher molecular weight, disulfide-bonded collagenous materials (presumably type IV collagen) as compared with normals. Sugar-specific lectin studies showed an increased deposition of peanut agglutinin (PNA) and Ricinus communis agglutinin I (RCA120) in the DM/PCL of the PBK corneas. Our data suggest that the DM/PCL of PBK corneas have an increased accumulation of terminal B-galactose and B-D-galactose (1-3)-D-N-acetylgalactosamine residues and altered ratios of low and high molecular weight collagenous proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Basement Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Blister / pathology
  • Cataract / complications
  • Collagen / isolation & purification
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology*
  • Descemet Membrane / metabolism
  • Descemet Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Glycoconjugates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lectins / metabolism
  • Lenses, Intraocular / adverse effects


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Glycoconjugates
  • Lectins
  • Collagen