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Histochem Cell Biol. 1995 Nov;104(5):369-81.

Proteoglycans associated with the ciliary zonule of the rat eye: a histochemical and immunocytochemical study.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong.


The structural organization of integral and associated components of the ciliary zonule is still not fully understood. The present study is to localize and characterize the proteoglycans associated with the ciliary zonule of the rat eye by Cuprolinic blue (CB) staining and immunocytochemistry. After CB staining, the proteoglycans appeared as electron dense elongated rodlets and were localized with the zonular fibers. They were seen lying on the periphery of the zonular fibers or along the length of the individual fibrils. Most of the CB rodlets had a size of 60-170 nm long (average 130 nm) and 25 nm wide. Smaller CB rodlets measuring 25-60 nm long (average 45 nm) and 12 nm wide were sometimes found associated with the individual zonular fibrils. The CB rodlets were removed after chondroitinase ABC or chondroitinase AC treatment, but were resistant to heparitinase, nitrous acid, keratanase or Streptomyces hyaluronidase digestions. The ciliary zonule was also immunostained with three monoclonal antibodies: 2-B-6 specific for chondroitin 4-sulfate, 3-B-3 for chondroitin 6-sulfate and 1-B-5 for unsulfated chondroitin, using indirect immunoperoxidase or immuno-colloidal gold methods. The zonular fibers were immunoperoxidase stained and immunogold labeled by 2-B-6, but were not reactive to 3-B-3 and 1-B-5. The results demonstrate that chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan is associated with the ciliary zonule of the rat eye.

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