In vitro corneal endothelial permeability in rabbit and human: The effects of age, cataract surgery and diabetes

Mitchell A. Watsky, Mark L. McDermott, Henry F. Edelhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


Endothelial permeability was examined in rabbit and human corneas using an in vitro perfusion system with 5(6)-carboxyflurorescein as the permeability tracer. Following endothelial removal, the permeability of de-epithelialized rabbit corneas increased from 3·19×10-4 cm min-1 to 31·21×10-4 cm min-1, and de-epithelialized human donor corneal permeability values increased from 2·26 to 12·85. In human corneas, no correlation was seen between endothelial permeability and donor age, moist chamber storage time, endothelial cell density, coefficient of variation of cell area, or percent hexagonal cells. A positive correlation was found between permeability and time between donor death and enucleation. Donor eyes from three separate populations, having undergone cataract surgery prior to death (aphakic, posterior and anterior chamber implants), all showed a significant increase in permeability. Neither Type I nor Type II diabetes had an effect on the endothelial permeability of human donor corneas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-767
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental eye research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1989
Externally publishedYes



  • carboxyfluorescein
  • cataract surgery
  • cornea
  • diabetes
  • endothelial permeability
  • steady state distribution ratio (R)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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