Stromal changes following removal of epithelium in rat cornea

Jpn J Ophthalmol. 1988;32(2):113-25.


Morphologic and metabolic changes were studied in the corneal stroma of the rat eye following denudation of the epithelium. By touching the cornea with a glass slide coated with 10% gelatin the epithelium was removed with minimal trauma to the underlying stroma. The underlying superficial keratocytes degenerated promptly leaving an anterior acellular zone within 12 hours. At 24 hours wandering cells invaded this damaged stroma, coincident with reepithelialization of the surface. This suggests not only an interaction of epithelium and keratocytes but also of epithelium and wandering cells. Repair of the acellular zone began about 24 hours after the denudation. At 48 hours mitotic figures were abundant with vigorous incorporation of the 3H-thymidine in the remaining keratocytes. The acellular zone became repopulated with new stromal cells advancing from the posterior stroma toward the anterior stroma.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Cell Movement
  • Connective Tissue / pathology
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Corneal Stroma / pathology*
  • Corneal Stroma / ultrastructure
  • Epithelium / physiology
  • Histological Techniques*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mitosis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thymidine
  • Time Factors


  • Thymidine