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L. SU, H. P. Cui; Rabbit Conjunctival Epithelial Stem Cells Preferentially Reside in Palpebral Conjunctiva. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):915.
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Conjunctival epithelia play a significant role in forming a physical protective barrier of the ocular surface. To protect the integrity of ocular surface, the conjunctival epithelial cells (CECs) must be self-renewing from local stem cells. In this study, the distribution of conjunctival epithelial stem cells was determined.
In in vitro study, rabbit palpebral, fornical and bulbar CECs collected by DispaseIIincubation were cultured in an identical environment, respectively. Growth kinetics of different part of CECs was investigated by counting the cell number at different time points. Growth curves were drew to compare the in vitro proliferative potentials. The primary passage of palpebral, fornical and bulbar CECs were immunohistochemistrically stained with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and the PCNA-positive cells were compared between different parts. The colony forming abilities of palpebral, fornical and bulbar CECs were detected with the presence of feeder cells, and compared with each other. Conjunctival epithelial colonies were identified by P63 immunohistological staining.
In cell culture study, there was no significant morphological difference among palpebral, fornical and bulbar conjunctival epithelial cells under identical in vitro culture condition, and the conjunctival epithelial cells were stained positive with pan-cytokeratin. Rabbit palpebral CECs grew faster and assigned more PCNA positive cells and higher colony-forming abilities than the other two parts of CECs, which had significant statistical difference. Colony derived from a single conjunctival epithelial cell was P63-positive in immunohistological staining.
Rabbit palpebral CECs were endowed with higher self-renewing abilities. Thus the conjunctival epithelial stem cells of rabbit may preferentially reside in palpebral conjunctiva.
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