98th Annual Meeting DOG 2000

P 584

Early changes of the corneal endothelium of the pig after death in scanning electron microscopy

G. Jendral1, R. Kinzel², R. Hanschke³, F. Wilhelm4

Introduction: Because of the biological similarity between human and pig, pig eyes are often used for experimental studies. Other studies which examined corneal endothelium by scanning electron microscopy, often neglected early postmortal changes.

Material and methods: In our study we examined the corneal endothelium of pig eyes by scanning electron microscopy at different times after the death of the animal. We started with time 0, that means enucleation and preparation directly after death still on the place of the slaughter. We fixed the corneas by glutaraldehyde and dryed them by critical-point-drying-method and judged them by means of a score.

Results: We found some changes such as pores in cell membranes, shrinking of the nucleus and changes in the borders of the cells in the first minutes after death already. Number and serverity of these changes increased with the length of time after death.

Conclusions: In cases of scanning electron microscopy of corneal endothelium of pig eyes information about death – enucleation – time and time to preparation should be given. The early changes should be considered when judging the experimental results.

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Greifswald University
² Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
³ Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, Greifswald University
Department of Ophthalmology, University Halle