We examined the glucose metabolism and ultrastructure of human corneas stored for 11 to 37 days in organ culture using a modified Eagle's minimum essential medium. Changing the media twice weekly provided a stable pH of 7.22 to 7.28 but the glucose concentration of the media decreased from 110 mg/100 ml to 30 mg/100 ml, and lactate concentration increased from 7 mg/100 ml to 84 mg/100 ml before media replacement. The initial rate of glucose uptake and lactate release averaged 149 μg/hr and 95 μg/hr, respectively, and the rates decreased approximately 50% by day 12. The glucose uptake rate stabilized between 40 and 60% of the original rate to day 37, but the lactate release rate decreased again at day 25 from 64 to 25%. The lactate/glucose ratio averaged 65 to 82% during the first 25 days of organ culture and 33 to 53% from days 28 to 37. Electron microscopy revealed that the endothelium formed a complete monolayer of normal appearing cells covering Descemet's membrane. Intracytoplasmic deposition of glycogen granules was present in endothelial, stromal, and epithelial cells.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the University of Minnesota, Department of Ophthalmology, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Drs. Lindstrom, Doughman, and Harris, and Ms. Dancil), and Research Service, Wood Veterans Administration Center, Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Dr. Van Horn). This study was supported in part by Public Health Service National Eye Institute research grants EY00027, EY01211, EY00625, and in part by the Minnesota Lions Clubs, Minneapolis.