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E. Gardea, J. Gueudry, C. Duclos, J. Vannier, J. Marie, M. Lamacz, M. Muraine; Reconstitution of Conjunctival Epithelium Under the Influence of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Symblepharon Rabbit Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):385.
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Conjunctival fibrosis pathologies are difficult to treat and often recurrent. A cellular therapy study using mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow was performed in order to improve the therapeutic results.
An original symblepharon rabbit model was created. The fornix was reconstructed with an amniotic covered membrane, either using mesenchymal stem cells (MA/MSC), or conjunctival fibroblasts (MA/Fibro.) or with a single amniotic membrane (MA).
In the symblepharon model a loss of anatomy occurs with an average depth reduction of 60 % and a loss of function with goblet cell disappearance. After reconstruction, we had an anatomical restoration in both the operated eyes with a depth close to normal 10 ± 2, 11 ± 3 ET 9 ± 2 mm respectively in the MA/MSC, MA and MA/fibroblasts group. The difference between the groups was not considered statistically significant (p>0.05).The analysis of the conjunctival phenotype by immunochemistry MUC5ac showed a statistically higher density (p<0.05) of goblet cells in the MA/MSC 109 ± 25 group, than in the MA 32 ± 10 and MA/fibroblasts 10 ± 5 cells/mm group. Local inflammation, estimated by histological results was lower and similar in the group MA/MSC and MA with an average of 550 ±50 inflammatory cells/mm in the forniceal area than in the MA/fibroblasts group with an average of 1165 ±50 cells/mm.
Our results suggest the feasibility of a reliable and reproducible conjunctival symblepharon animal model. The anatomy was restored in all 3 groups but the presence of MSC permitted us to find a conjunctival phenotype close to normal partly due to a decrease in local inflammation.
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