Superior cervical ganglionectomy in monkeys: light and electron microscopy of the anterior eye segment.

Kaufman Lab // Publications // Jul 01 1997

PubMed ID: 9237862

Author(s): Tamm ER, Rohen JW, Schmidt K, Robinson JC, Wallow IH, Kaufman PL. Superior cervical ganglionectomy in monkeys: light and electron microscopy of the anterior eye segment. Exp Eye Res. 1997 Jul;65(1):31-43.

Journal: Experimental Eye Research, Volume 65, Issue 1, Jul 1997

Morphological changes in the anterior eye segment of eight cynomolgus monkeys were investigated 2 days to 2.2 years after unilateral surgical superior cervical ganglionectomy (SCGx). SCGx was confirmed by histologic examination of the excised surgical specimen and persistent ipsilateral miosis. In four short-term monkeys (2, 4, 7 and 11 days), iris, ciliary muscle and trabecular meshwork were studied by electron microscopy. In the other four longer-term monkeys (3 week, 4 week, 5 week, 2.2 year) the anterior eye segment was investigated with tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry (TH-IR) and catecholamine fluorescence (CF). Electron microscopy of experimental eyes showed characteristic signs of Wallerian degeneration in numerous nerve fibers and terminals in the iris, but to a lesser extent in the ciliary muscle and the trabecular meshwork. TH-IR and CF showed marked interindividual differences. In all experimental eyes, there was a marked reduction, but never a complete absence of adrenergic nerves in the iris. In two animals (4 week and 2.2 years), the adrenergic innervation of the ciliary body and the chamber angle was similarly reduced. In contrast, in the experimental eyes of the other two animals (3 and 5 weeks), changes in adrenergic innervation to the ciliary body and chamber angle were minimal or absent. The results indicate that following apparently complete SCGx in the cynomolgus monkey, reduction of adrenergic innervation to the iris as evidenced by pupillary physiology, electron microscopy, TH-IR and CF does not guarantee reduction in adrenergic innervation to the ciliary body and trabecular meshwork. SCGx may not extirpate all third order sympathetic neurons in the distal stump, or there may be a significant contribution of accessory ganglion cells to the adrenergic innervation of the anterior eye segment.