The significance of collagen XVIII in the regulation of corneal reinnervation remains largely unknown. We used whole-mount immunoconfocal microscopy to localize collagen XVIII to the nerve basement membrane of wild-type (WT) mouse corneas. Transmission electron microscopy showed corneal nerve disorganization in collagen XVIII knockout mice (col18a1-/-). Antibody 2H3-specific neurofilament colocalized with collagens XVIII and IV and laminin-2 in WT mouse corneas, but did not colocalize with collagen IV and laminin-2 in col18a1-/- mouse corneas. Following keratectomy, col18a1-/- mice displayed decreased corneal neurite extension compared to WT mice. Our data indicate that collagen XVIII may play an important role in corneal reinnervation after wounding.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr. Bjorn Olsen for providing col18a1 −/− mice and Patricia Pearson for TEM imaging. Supported by NIH EY14048 (J.H.C.), EY10101 (D.T.A.), EY 001792 (D.T.A.), an unrestricted departmental grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, the Bausch Lomb Japan/MEEI Research Fellowship Award, and the Japan Eye Bank Association Overseas Research Award (T.S.).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology