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Year : 1979  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 207

Identification of sex from human eye

Maulana Azad Med. College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
L D Sota
Asst. Prof. of Ophth. Maulana Azad Med. College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Sota L D. Identification of sex from human eye. Indian J Ophthalmol 1979;27:207

How to cite this URL:
Sota L D. Identification of sex from human eye. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1979 [cited 2020 Dec 3];27:207. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1979/27/4/207/32631

Study of sex chromatin in corneal endothelial cells can be used not only for identification of sex of the donor but also may be useful to study the endothelial competence.

  Materials and Methods Top

Eyes were obtained from the cadever and immediately cornea was removed and fixed in modified Davidson's solution for three hours. Time of the death of the person, time of the removal of the eye, time of the removal of the cornea were recorded. Wherever there was a doubt regarding the time of the death or body remained exposed and not kept in the post martem room were excluded. On albumen coated slide the cornea was kept and endothelium scrapped.

The procedure was carried out under the microscop Slides were kept in a clean container overnight and then stained by Feulgen method[2] This is the only technique which is specific for chromatin and sex chromatin. The only disadvantage of this method is that the reagent is not stable and has to be prepared periodically.

The Feulgen reaction is based upon the cleavage of the purine-de-oxyribose bond by mild acid hydrolysis to expose a reactive aldehyde group which may then be detected by the use of schiff reagent. This leucofushsin gives a reddish purple colour in their presence, owing to the formation of quinoid compound. In practice those structures containing DNA are stained red by this technique.


Sex could be easily identified by the identification of sex chromatin, sex c :romatin occurs as a composite body and is fairly constant in size in given species. Its size averages 0.7u x 1.2u. They are definite in outline and location in nuclear structure. They appear as planoconvex, but may assume `V' shape or triangular, or dumbell shape or Bipartite. They are situated close to periphery in contact with nuclear membrance or may lie freely in nucleoplasm [Figure - 1]. Wide variation in the count was seen. In female the count was between 40 to 60% and in male the count was 1 & 3%. Also it was seen that sex chromatin could be identified in all the eyes used for grafting upto 16 hours of the death. There after there was a loss of endothelial pattern and identification of sex chromatin was difficult and after 24 hours it was impossible.

  Discussion Top

Sex of the eye can be identified using sex chromatin as a guide and also it was observed that eyes removed after 16 hours of death even stored in ideal conditions are not good for keratoplasty. Inability to identify sex chromat­in in endothelium was considered as loss of endothelial competence.

  References Top

Basu, P.K., Ormsy, H. L., 1960, Amer. J. Ophihal. 49, 513.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kinger, H.P. & Ludwid. K.S., 1957, Stain technol., 32, 325.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure - 1]


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