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S. Lee, M. Kim, Y. Chun, J. Kim; The Origin of Retrocorneal Membrane Association with Severe Corneal Damage. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1943.
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Retrocorneal membrane is newly formed structure and uncommon complication of corneal wound or ocular surgery. This study was performed to investigate the origin and cellular composition of these retrocorneal membrane association with chemical burn and recurrent corneal ulcer.
Three cases of retrocorneal membranes were obtained during penetrating keratoplasty. Retrocorneal membranes were examined by H&E staining, PAS staining, and immunohistochemical analysis using monoclonal antibodies against collagen IV, CD34, CD68, FGF, TGF, VEGF, VEGFR1, c-kit, β1-integrin, vimentin, and -smooth muscle actin.
Histologic analysis of retrocorneal membranes showed different features in thickness, cellularity, and extent each other. But that revealed commoness that they showed spindle-shaped cells consistent with fibroblast, myofibroblast, and fibrous matrix structure. Immunohistochemical stain of retrocorneal membranes showed positive for collagen IV, β1-integrin, and vimentin and which are similar to corneal endothelium. And they showed positive for -smooth muscle actin which is component of myofibroblastic cell. But they showed negative for CD34, c-kit which is hematopoietic stem cell marker.
The result of this study suggest endothelial mesenchymal transformation, in which corneal endothelial cells are transformed to fibroblast. This corneal endothelial cells may be a source of retrocorneal membrane components. So, the origin of retrocorneal membrane may be mesenchymal cells.
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