Quantitative analysis of lipid deposits from Schnyder's corneal dystrophy

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Abstract

Aim

To report the quantitation of the lipid composition of a corneal button from a Japanese woman in her 60s with clinically and histopathologically proved Schnyder's corneal dystrophy.

Methods

Total lipids extracted from the corneal button of the patient were analysed by the method of thin layer chromatography flame ionisation detection. Two different solvent systems were used for neutral lipid analysis and phospholipid analysis. Results were compared with three age matched corneal buttons obtained from cadaveric eyes.

Results

The lipids that accumulated in the cornea in Schnyder's dystrophy consisted mainly of unesterified cholesterol and phospholipids. The analysis of phospholipids showed sphingomyelin to be the predominant phospholipid in the patient's cornea.

Conclusion

Findings suggest that this disorder involves a disturbance of the metabolism of cholesterol and/or sphingomyelin metabolism that is limited to the cornea.

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