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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1979 Jan;18(1):85-92.

Ocular surface epithelium and corneal vascularization in rabbits. I. The role of wounding.


A new model for rabbit corneal vascularization, created by making a penetrating wound in corneas with epithelium of conjunctival origin, is described. Obligate resurfacing of the cornea from conjunctival epithelium usually leads to a small, but consistent peripheral superficial corneal vascularization. Subsequent penetrating wounds elicit, in 75% of cases, a marked vascular ingrowth. Normal eyes and eyes resurfaced by peripheral corneal epithelial cells do not vascularize after such wounds. The vessels are located in the anterior corneal stroma, and the regenerated epithelium has a conjunctival appearance. Although increased hydration plays a role in this vascularization, the extent of vascularization was much greater in the presence of regenerated epithelium of conjunctival origin than in the presence of regenerated epithelium of corneal origin.

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