In this present study the results are presented of a combined ultrastructural and immunofluorescent investigation of 'smooth muscle' elements within the cytoplasm of human trabecular meshwork cells. The cytoplasm of human meshwork cells both in vivo and in vitro is replete with 10 nm intermediate filaments and also contains smaller 6 nm filaments which are particularly prominent in the cell processes. By immunofluorescence using sera rich in antibodies to contractile proteins, particularly actin, cultured meshwork cells showed strong cytoplasmic fluorescence. On occasion the cytoplasmic fluorescence was diffuse, but more often recognisable bundless (stress fibres) or a loose fibrillar framework was found. The possible role of structural and contractile cellular proteins in trabecular function was discussed.
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