Occurrence of cholinergic nerve fibers in the human uveoscleral tissue

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Abstract

We have studied the cholinergic nerve fibers (CNF) of human uveoscleral tissue in normal and pathological conditions (intraocular pressure: (IOP) of various degrees ) and have performed a quantitative image analysis of CNF with the aim of studying an hypothetical association between IOP and the uveoscleral level of cholinergic neurotransmitter in nerve fiber of the enucleated human eyes.

Eleven patients, previously enrolled in our medical protocols are affected by an increase of IOP of various degrees, were subjected to surgical enucleation of one eyeball for traumatic or neoplastic reasons and were the donors of samples of the uveoscleral tissue for CNF demonstration. The samples were also submitted to quantitative image analysis.

An enzymatic activity, Acetylcholinesterase (AChe), is present in nerve fibers that innervate the human uveoscleral tissue. The AChe-positive nerve fibers represent about 7.2% of the observed area in normal conditions, while in patients with elevated IOP ACheactivity is about 20.3% of the total observed area.

The increase of AChe activity in our experiments, all performed under the same conditions, and therefore, with comparable results, may be related with the increase of IOP.

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