Functional morphology of mucosal goblet cells based on spatial separation of orifice openings to the surface - Application to the rabbit bulbar conjunctiva

Michael Doughty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to assess spatial separation of goblet cell orifices observed at the surface of the rabbit bulbar conjunctiva by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) specimens of the bulbar conjunctiva from 8 healthy pigmented rabbits were obtained using a special preparation technique by which the tissue was carefully stretched out during glutaraldehyde fixation. On high magnification prints of SEM images of the conjunctival surface, the locations of goblet cell openings (orifices) to the apical surface were marked and the centre-to-centre spacing between all such orifices measured. Across the regions of interest (ROI), with averaged dimensions of 322μm×230μm (adjusted for tissue shrinkage), the averaged value for the distances between all orifices was 196μm (range 141-241μm), with the calculated density of orifices being 412mm-2. A sequential order-based analysis of the spatial separation between orifices indicated a predictable value of 6μm, a separation that showed a nearly linear inter-dependence over distances of at least 200μm. The openings of goblet cells to the surface of unstimulated bulbar conjunctiva have a organized spatial distribution that is consistent with there being an organized control of goblet cell secretion. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
JournalTissue and Cell
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Bulbar conjunctiva
  • Goblet cell orifices
  • Rabbit
  • Scanning electron microscopy

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