June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
CD11c-Positive Dendritic Cells Mediate Epithelium-Innervation and Guide Sensory Nerve Regeneration Post Epithelium-Wounding in the Cornea
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patrick Lee
    Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
  • Nan Gao
    Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
  • Fushin X Yu
    Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Patrick Lee, None; Nan Gao, None; Fushin Yu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 729. doi:
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      Patrick Lee, Nan Gao, Fushin X Yu; CD11c-Positive Dendritic Cells Mediate Epithelium-Innervation and Guide Sensory Nerve Regeneration Post Epithelium-Wounding in the Cornea. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):729.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To investigate mechanisms underlying epithelium innervation in homeostatic corneas and re-innervation in post-wound corneas.

 
Methods
 

Cornea were wounded by debridement and allowed to heal in vivo. Dendritic cells were depleted locally in the cornea by using the diphtheria toxin (DT)-mediated depletion of DCs in B6-CD11c-DTR mice. SiRNAs for gene knockdown were subconjunctivally injected prior to epithelium-wounding. Sensory nerve fibers/endings and dendritic cells were assessed by whole mount confocal microscopy.

 
Results
 

Two morphologically differing dendritic cells were detected: dendriform and round-shaped. Dendriform DCs were in intimate contact with sub-basal nerve endings while the round-shaped DCs were located at the branch points of nerve fibers that innervated the epithelium. 3-D reconstruction showed that CD11c-positive cells accompanied sensory nerve fibers to cross the corneal epithelium basal lamina. Depletion of DCs resulted in reduced nerve ending density and delayed post-wound re-innervation. Finally, epithelium-expressed class 3 semaphorins were found to be important guidance molecules for sensory nerve regeneration in the cornea.

 
Conclusions
 

DCs and neurons are functionally interdependent and morphologically interconnected. DCs mediate epithelium-innervation and guide sensory nerve regeneration post epithelium-wounding.  

 
Corneal intraepithelial dendritic cells (green) of both dendriform (A, B) and round (C) morphologies are structurally interdependent and intimately contact corneal sensory nerves (red)
 
Corneal intraepithelial dendritic cells (green) of both dendriform (A, B) and round (C) morphologies are structurally interdependent and intimately contact corneal sensory nerves (red)

 
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