Enhancing fluid secretion by the corneal epithelium

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Swollen rabbit corneas incubated in vitro with their posterior surfaces blocked with silicone oil maintained fairly constant thickness over an 11 hr. period. Increasing the stimulated intraocular pressure from 10 to 30 mm. Hg did not produce stromal thinning. When theophylline was added to stimulate epithelial Cl secretion by increasing the Cl permeability of the tear-facing epithelial membrane, corneas thinned at the average rate of 1.3 μm/hr. over a 6 1/2 hr. period. When the epithelial perfusion solution was made Cl-free by SO4 substitution to favor the passive flow of Cl from the cells to the tear solution, thinning of 3.91 μm/hr. over a 7 hr. period was observed. When corneas were perfused with Cl-free medium plus theophylline, thinning at the average rate of 6.20 μm/hr. over an 8 hr. period was achieved. Therefore the corneal epithelium is capable of thinning a swollen stroma by transport of fluid coupled to its Cl secretion, which can be enhanced by simple substitutions in the tear-side bathing solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-973
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


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