, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 121-131

Immunocytochemical localization of thrombomodulin in the aqueous humor passage of the rat eye

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 This report describes the distribution and localization of thrombomodulin (TM) in the rat eye by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. In addition to the endothelium of the entire vasculature, TM was found on the non-vascular structures lining the cavities of the posterior and anterior chambers and the limbus. TM was localized on the basal, lateral, and apical plasma membranes of the inner and outer ciliary epithelium, and the posterior iris epithelium in which there was no polarized expression of TM. In the anterior chamber, TM was localized on the luminal surface of the corneal endothelium, but was negative on the anterior border layer of the iris, which is composed of a discontinuous layer of fibroblasts and collagen fibers. Thus, TM was present at sites of cell-to-cell contact. TM was also present on the endothelia of the trabecular meshwork and the Schlemm’s canal in the limbus. TM was localized not only on the luminal plasma membrane, but also on the cytoplasmic giant vacuoles in the endothelial cells of the Schlemm’s canal. These findings extend the importance of anticoagulant mechanisms to the systems of secretion, circulation, and drainage of the aqueous humor.