The extracellular matrix composition of the monkey optic nerve head

J. C. Morrison, J. A. Jerdan, N. L. L'Hernault, H. A. Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The presence and distribution of laminin, heparan sulfate proteoglycan and collagen type I, III and IV were immunohistologically determined in cynomolgus monkey optic nerve heads using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. Collagen type I and III were detected within the collagenous plates of the scleral lamina cribrosa, in the septa and pia mater of the postlaminar optic nerve and in blood vessel walls in all regions of the optic nerve head. Collagen type IV, laminin and heparan sulfate proteoglycans were all localized to the margins of the collagenous laminar plates of the scleral lamina cribrosa and along the margins of the optic nerve septa and the pia mater. All three components also appeared beneath the blood vessel endothelium throughout the optic nerve head. Within the lamina cribrosa, collagen types I and III occupy the core of the scleral laminar plates and may provide structural support for optic nerve bundles exiting the eye. The distribution of collagen type IV, laminin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan corresponds to basement membranes from two sources: vascular endothelial cells and glial cells lining the axonal bundles. Abnormalities of these substances may influence optic nerve function and susceptibility to elevated introcular pressure by altering their mechanical support functions within the nerve head, by interfering with axonal nutrition, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1150
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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