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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology