Ultrahistochemical studies on tangential sections of the trabecular meshwork in normal and glaucomatous eyes

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1981 Oct;21(4):563-73.


The composition of the extracellular material of the cribriform meshwork was compared in five normal and 13 glaucomatous eyes of the same age group (58 to 70 years). Enzymatic digestion and histochemical methods applicable to electron microscopy were used. In both groups of eyes the ground substance was sensitive to chondroitinase ABC, and also the other methods showed no qualitative differences between the groups. In contrast, the fibrillar components of the extracellular material, which partly could be studied only after enzymatic treatment, showed qualitative differences between normal and glaucomatous eyes. In addition to the normal fibrous components, the glaucoma tissue contained large amounts of very fine fibrils. In seven eyes with end-stage glaucoma these fibrils filled the whole cribriform region. In these cases collagen fibers also appeared. Whether these were formed from the fine fibrils is not clear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chondroitinases and Chondroitin Lyases / pharmacology
  • Collagen
  • Glaucoma / pathology*
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Trabecular Meshwork / analysis
  • Trabecular Meshwork / drug effects
  • Trabecular Meshwork / ultrastructure*


  • Collagen
  • Chondroitinases and Chondroitin Lyases