Changes related to limbal stem cells deficiency in corneal epithelium in rabbits, as well as the results of amniotic membrane transplant on the cicatrisation were evaluated. The ulcer was induced with n-heptanol associated to 360° conjunctival peritomy; the corneal surface was covered with canine amniotic membrane, sutured to perilimbal episclera, cryopreserved in embryo solution or own medium, both with 50% glycerol and stored at -80°C. The control group was not treated with membrane. Histological evaluations were performed at seven, 15, and 30 days. All of them developed limbal stem cells deficiency, named conjunctivalization, with neovascularization, inflammation and recurrent epithelial defects, observed in histopathology by the occurrence of neovascularization, edema, leukocytes and goblet cells. Thus amniotic membrane transplantation was not efficient in the treatment of limbal stem cells deficiency, however it helped in the process of cicatrisation.
rabbit; cornea; cryopreservation; amniotic membrane