Innervation of the porcine ciliary muscle and outflow region

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The porcine eye serves as a model to study various functions of the aqueous outflow system. To compare these data with the primate eye, a detailed investigation of the distribution of contractile properties and of the innervation of the outflow region was conducted in the porcine eye. In all quadrants of the anterior eye segment, elastic fibres connected the ciliary muscle (CM) with the well-developed scleral spur (ScS) and also partly with the corneoscleral trabecular meshwork (TM) and the loops of the collecting outflow channels. Immunohistochemistry with antibodies against smooth muscle α-actin revealed intense staining of the CM and some myofibroblasts in the ScS and outer TM. In addition to a few cholinergic and aminergic nerve fibres in the outflow region, numerous substance P- and calcitonin-gene related peptide-positive nerve fibres and nerve endings were found near the outflow loops of the porcine TM. Although the porcine CM serves rather as a tensor choroideae muscle than as a muscle for accommodation, the innervation and morphology of the collecting outflow channel loops and of the expanded TM between the ScS and the cornea showed close similarities to the primate eye.

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