Visualization of adult fish lens fiber cells

Tomasz M. Kozłowski, Ronald H.H. Kröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The crystalline lens of a vertebrate eye is a gradient-index lens and grows throughout life by addition of new lens fiber cells in the periphery. In fish, the growing ball-shaped lens maintains sophisticated optical properties throughout life by maintaining the distribution of refractive index relative to the increasing radius of the lens. During this process, the central fibers must increase refractive index by increasing the cytosolic concentration of crystallin proteins. However, only the youngest, most peripheral lens fiber cells have the ability to synthesize proteins. Unfortunately, the hardness of fish lenses makes investigation of the cellular anatomy impossible with traditional histological methods. We have developed a method for visualizing lens fiber cells across the diameter of the lens in adult fish. The method relies on sectioning embedded lenses with a high-speed power saw and observing the cut surface with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The combination of SEM and image analysis allowed for precise tracking of the positions of individual cell fiber cells. As an application of the method, we present a cell thickness profile, i.e. the distribution of cells thicknesses and their relative positions along the lens's radius. Combined with detailed optical studies, which by mathematical reasons only are possible on ball-shaped lenses, our method can lead to new insights into the mechanism governing the functional and cellular development of vertebrate lenses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Volume181
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Zoology

Keywords

  • Crystalline lens
  • Fiber cells
  • Fish
  • Lens anatomy
  • Optics

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