Ultrastructural changes in the aqueous outflow apparatus of beagles with inherited glaucoma

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1989 Mar;30(3):550-61.


Spontaneous glaucoma in the beagle was exhibited after 6 months of age by elevated intraocular pressures and open iridocorneal angles followed by secondary changes. In order to appreciate alterations of the aqueous outflow apparatus in dogs with this autosomal recessive disorder, the eyes of beagles with inherited glaucoma at ages 1 day through 34 months were examined by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Developmentally, no notable differences were observed between normal and preglaucomatous outflow channels through 7 months of age. In 12-month-old glaucomatous chamber angles clustered basement membrane-like material was found scattered throughout the outer corneoscleral trabecular meshwork. In this region elastin-like fibers appeared to be more numerous and arranged less regularly than age-matched normal eyes. Occasional trabecular cells within the corneoscleral trabecular meshwork possessed small clusters of serrated, opaque rods within their cytoplasm. In the older glaucomatous dogs these changes were more generalized and extensive throughout the entire corneoscleral trabecular meshwork. In some individual eyes the anterior chamber angles were observed to be narrow both clinically and histologically. These outflow apparatuses were additionally characterized by compressed, less organized trabeculae with a concomitant build-up of extracellular materials. No correlation was found between the shallowness of the iridocorneal angle and increase in intraocular pressure. Primary glaucoma in the beagle during its earlier phases compared more positively to open-angle glaucoma in man than any of the other spontaneous types in animals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism
  • Aqueous Humor / pathology*
  • Cornea / ultrastructure
  • Dogs
  • Eye / ultrastructure*
  • Glaucoma / genetics
  • Glaucoma / pathology*
  • Iris / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Sclera / ultrastructure
  • Trabecular Meshwork / ultrastructure
  • Uvea / ultrastructure