This thesis describes the characteristics of type VII collagen (Col VII) in the intraocular environment, by means of immunohistochemical, -fluorescence and - immunoelectron microscopy analysis. Col VII is an anchoring protein that secures the epidermal basement membrane to the underlying stroma, by forming looped anchoring fibrils. These fibrils are lateral aggregates of Col VII molecules, which may entrap stromal fibers, and secure the epidermis much like a biological Velcro. Recent investigations found that Col VII is expressed in the retina, but its function here is unclear. The main purpose of this thesis is to elucidate the characteristics of intra-ocular Col VII, and -possibly- its function in the intraocular environment. We were able to demonstrate Col VII presence in the vitreoretinal junction, the accommodation system (lens, zonules, ciliary body) and various blood vessels. It remains unclear whether Col VII has a structural supportive role in the intra-ocular environment. Recent literature however opts a possible function as biological signaling molecule in angiogenesis or tumorgenesis, or possible sclerosis. More research is necessary to unravel its true purpose.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||[Groningen]|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|