Date of Award

12-1-1994

Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Field of Study

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Department

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Abbot F. Clark

Second Advisor

Robert W. Gracy

Third Advisor

Walter J. McConathy

Abstract

Ke, Tai-Lee, Age Related Changes in Rabbit Cornea: Permeability and Membrane Properties. Doctor of Philosophy (Biochemistry), December, 1994, 139 pp., 26 tables, 13 illustrations, bibliography, 117 titles. This investigation was designed to characterize age-related changes in corneal function and biochemical structure. The specific aims were to: 1) systematically assess changes in permeability to compounds of different molecular weights and lipophilicities, 2) examine differences in tissue binding by utilizing a theoretical transport model, and 3) evaluate the biochemical changes in lipid composition and distribution. Experiments to compare young (six weeks) versus old (three to four years) rabbit corneal permeability were carried out utilizing an in vitro diffusion model. Changes in corneal transmembrane resistance, permeability to various compounds, and metabolic capability were examined by various analytical techniques. In addition, a theoretical penetration model which took into account stromal binding was studied. Corneal lipid composition and distribution were assessed by HPLC and GC. in corneal transmembrane resistance, permeability to various compounds, and metabolic capability were examined by various analytical techniques. In addition, a theoretical penetration model which took into account stromal binding was studied. Corneal lipid composition and distribution were assessed by HPLC and GC. Permeabilities of selected compounds with different physicochemical properties were evaluated in young and old intact and denuded (wounded) rabbit corneas. With age, the membrane permeability significantly decreased in parallel with an increase in transmembrane resistance. Age-related changes in activities of esterase and phosphatase were also found. For some compounds, the aged corneas exhibited longer lag times in penetration studies. This suggested that the binding constant in the cornea from older animals was higher than in young animals. Maximum binding capacity from theoretical model calculations correlated well with experimental results in the young corneal stroma but correlation was less rigorous for old corneal stroma. Age-related changes in lipid composition and distribution in corneas were observed and provide indirect evidence for a decrease in membrane fluidity (decrease in the ratio of phosphatidylcholine/sphingomyelin) in the aged cornea. Results indicate that the aging process in the cornea is associated with changes in biochemical structural matrix including membrane lipid composition and physical properties such as fluidity (microviscosity). Functional correlations include changes in: 1) transmembrane resistance, 2) membrane permeability, 3) enzymatic activities (esterase and phosphatase), and 4) binding properties of the cornea. A possible mechanism for understanding and developing an intervention for age-related changes in the cornea is postulated.

Comments

Ke, Tai-Lee, Age Related Changes in Rabbit Cornea: Permeability and Membrane Properties. Doctor of Philosophy (Biochemistry), December, 1994, 139 pp., 26 tables, 13 illustrations, bibliography, 117 titles. W 4 K24A 1994

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