To immunolocalize corneal keratan sulfate (KS) and its core protein lumican, aggrecan, type I and type III collagens in sclerocornea specimens and compare their expression and distribution to age-matched healthy corneas and scleras. Sclerocornea specimens (n = 3) and age-matched normal corneoscleral rim specimens (n = 3) were studied by light microscopy and histochemically. KS, lumican, aggrecan, type I and type III collagens were immunolocalized in the specimens using indirect immunofluorescence. The fluorescence intensity in each specimen was scored from 0 to 4, with 0 representing no fluorescence and 4 representing intense fluorescence. The sclerocornea specimens showed histologic features typical of sclerocornea. KS and lumican immunolabeling in the corneal stroma in sclerocornea was decreased, whereas aggrecan immunolabeling was increased compared to that seen in normal cornea and normal sclera. KS and lumican staining was more intense in the posterior part of sclerocornea specimens, whereas aggrecan staining was distributed throughout the stroma. The staining intensity and distribution of type I collagen in sclerocornea was similar to that seen in normal cornea. Type III collagen was faint to absent in both normal cornea and sclerocornea but strong labeling was noted in normal sclera. The immunophenotype of sclerocornea is similar to that of normal cornea but with reduced labeling intensity of KS and lumican and increased labeling intensity of aggrecan. This change could potentially contribute to the abnormal fibril assembly in sclerocornea.
- Keratan sulfate
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