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Andre A. M. Torricelli, Jiahui Wu, Abirami Santhanam, Gustavo Kupper Kupper Marino, Arun Singh, Steven E. Wilson; Perlecan and nidogen-2 up-regulation in stromal keratocytes after epithelial injury in human corneas. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):710.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate stromal production of corneal epithelial basement membrane (EBM) proteins in wounded human corneas.
A total of 5 unwounded control eyes and 4 wounded corneas were obtained from fresh corneoscleral buttons from human eyes enucleated due to choroidal melanoma with normal anterior segments. In the wounded corneas the central epithelium was scraped to remove an 8 mm patch of central epithelium and EBM. These corneas were collected 30 minutes after injury. Immunohistochemistry were performed to detect perlecan and nidogen-2 proteins that are important components of the EBM.
Perlecan and nidogen-2 proteins were detected in the epithelium and BM zone in unwounded corneas. Little immunoreactivity was detected for either BM components in stromal cells of the unwounded corneas. However, after epithelial injury there was a strong signal for nidogen-2 in stromal keratocytes in all wounded corneas (Fig 1). Perlecan was also detected at higher levels in the stromal tissue and associated keratocytes in all wounded corneas (Fig 2).
After epithelial and EBM injury, stromal keratocytes produce perlecan and nidogen-2 components of the epithelial BM and likely contribute to regeneration of the EBM. We hypothesize that, after self-polymerizing laminin is secreted by epithelial cells to form the nascent EBM, some deeper components must be provided by keratocytes and/or corneal fibroblasts.
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