In vitro studies of the transport of colloidal particles by the cornea were carried out on intact corneas of adult rabbits in a chamber described by Donn, Maurice, and Mills (2) in which the epithelial or the endothelial surface of the cornea was exposed to thorium dioxide or saccharated iron oxide under various conditions. These studies confirmed the results of previous work in vivo and allowed modification of the experimental conditions. Particles are pinocytosed at the apical surface of the corneal endothelium and carried around the terminal bar in membrane-bounded vesicles. Basal to the terminal bar these vesicles fuse with the lateral cell margin and their contents are released into the intercellular space, in which they appear to be carried by a one-way flow down to Descemet's membrane and the corneal stroma. Indications that the endothelial transport is an active process are presented by the different pathways of transport into or out of the corneal stroma, as well as by the approximately 70 per cent reduction in transport activity at low temperatures.

This content is only available as a PDF.