Quantitative studies of collagen density and fibril size distribution as well as elastin density were carried out in the optic nerve head and sclera of human and experimental monkey glaucoma eyes. The collagen fibrils of the normal lamina cribrosa are smaller and more uniform in size than those of the sclera. This feature may be an adaptation to maximize either elasticity or resistance to mechanical stress. In glaucomatous nerve heads, there is a major disruption of the structure of the lamina cribrosa beam structure, including a decrease in collagen density. The peripapillary sclera undergoes similar collagen density changes to those in the nerve head in human glaucoma eyes. Elastin fiber density is unchanged in the glaucomatous nerve heads that we studied.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience