Vitreous body

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Studying the microscopic structure of the vitreous body, we noticed that the fibrils of the vitreous body become thinner with age. It is also known from literature.

There has been a dispute was between histologists and ophthalmologists for a long time. Do collagen fibrils really exist? Any collagen tissue should be stained with special paint — hematoxylin and eosin. Vitreous collagen fibrils were not stained. Ophthalmologists argue that we do see them in the light of the slit lamp. It was therefore decided to attribute them to collagen 4, a special type.

We were able to stain them with different paint (Аmido black 10B). This paint stains Mueller cells and intracellular formations. Hence, collagen fibrils of the vitreous body represent intracellular structures.

It is known that during fetal development, the entire cavity of the eye is taken by mesodermal (original) cells. These cells die, but the skeleton of these cells remains.

Consequently, the vitreous fibrils can be presented as the general cytoskeleton of embryonic cells that previously filled the cavity of the eye, which ophthalmologists can observe with the help of biomicroscopy. In the process of «aging», vitreous fibrils are diluted. The same seems to happen to every cell of the body. The skin of a child’s hands is plump, while the skin of older people is loose. That is to say each cell of an elderly person has a very thin cytoskeleton, which indicates that the aging process is irreversible.

Why does the cytoskeleton become thinner?

It is known that the vitreous body contains hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a long molecule that is negatively charged. Agafonov (1986) indicated that hyaluronic acid molecules are linked with vitreous microfibrils.

Microfibrils and hyaluronic acid can be imagined as a brush for cleaning bottles. Being near each other, hyaluronic acid bounces from each other, creating vitreous turgor.

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Fig. 1. A brush for cleaning bottles

Microfibrils disappear with age. Following them, related hyaluronic acid disappears as well.

Thus, the ophthalmologist has a unique opportunity to observe the intracellular structure of the «giant cell» through the slit lamp and its variation in the aging process. At a young age, it is very difficult to see fibrils of the vitreous body biomicroscopically, with the exception of the fibrils of the front membrane (in the absence of myopia).

They are very tightly packed together. With age, their density decreases and they become distinguishable. Then they become thinner, and the elderly have no moire at all. One can see large single fibrils.

Thus, we see the development of gerontology. We have proved that the vitreous fibrils represent the intracellular skeleton of dead embryonic cells. The same thing happens with every cell of man, and it is impossible to stop this process. With age, the density of intracellular filamentous formations that make up the skeleton of the cell decreases. These filamentous formations lose their ability to retain water. Therefore, the skin of the hands and the whole person becomes wrinkled with age (Figure 5). This contrasts sharply with children’s skin (Figure 4).

 

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Fig. 2. Skin cells of young men and children have a dense intracellular skeleton.

Old

Fig. 3. The cells of the elderly lose moisture due to a sharp decrease in the intracellular skeleton.

References

  1. Agafonov V.А. Ультpастpуктуpные особенности патологии стекловидного тела. Экспеpиментальные исследования в офтальмологии. Сб. научн. тpудов Моск.HИИ Микpохиpуpгии глаза М., 1986, с. 112-116
  2. Hajiyev R.V. About pathogenesis of Diabetic retinopathy and Central Retinal Vein Occlusion. Baku, 2011, Poligraphic production, p. 71.

 

 

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