Nerve structures in human central corneal epithelium

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1982;218(1):14-20. doi: 10.1007/BF02134093.


Eight corneal buttons obtained after enucleations and keratoplasties were impregnated with gold chloride. In epithelial flat preparations dissected from the stroma, the topography of epithelial nerves was examined by light microscopy. Four main structures constituted the innervation of human central corneal epithelium: (1) Bowman's membrane penetrating stromal nerves; (2) basal epithelial nerve plexus; (3) dendritic cells that are interspersed among the basal plexus and possibly connected with nerve fibres; (4) nerve terminals, originating from the basal plexus and dividing dichotomously in the superficial cell layers.

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / innervation*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology*