Localisation of glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans during early eye development in the macaque

P. E. Peterson, C. S T Pow, D. B. Wilson, Andrew G Hendrickx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) was examined in the developing lens and optic cup (stages 11-16) of the long-tailed monkey (Macaca fascicularis) using peroxidase immunocytochemistry. The glycoproteins, fibronectin, laminin, and collagen types I and IV, were consistently associated with basement membranes (BM) of ocular epithelia at all stages examined. Discontinuity of the optic cup BM was observed during the early stages of evagination (stages 11 and 12); the even distribution of all 4 components was reestablished by stage 13 when the optic vesicle is closely apposed to the thickened lens placode. While fibronectin was most predominant in the mesenchymal matrix, all 4 glycoproteins were observed to variable degrees in the periocular mesenchyme. Particularly strong glycoprotein reactivity was observed in the interspace between the invaginating lens vesicle and optic cup whereas no significant reactivity occurred within the lens, developing retina or future corneal epithelium. Two glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate, had virtually identical widespread staining patterns in all ocular BM and throughout the periocular mesenchyme and adjacent epithelial tissues, including the lens and retina. The observed temporal and regional staining patterns suggest that these ECM components are morphogenetic factors in the macaque eye, facilitating the complex series of integrated tissue interactions, movements and shape changes during the earliest stages of lens and optic vesicle morphogenesis. The macaque offers a valuable model to study these interactions due to the prolonged period of ocular development which is morphologically identical to humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


  • Basement membrane
  • Chondroitin sulphate
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Monkey
  • Ocular cup
  • Ocular lens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anatomy


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