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Anthea J. Messent, Melanie J. Blissett, Gillian L. Smith, Alison J. North, Anthony Magee, David Foreman, David R. Garrod, Mike Boulton; Expression of a Single Pair of Desmosomal Glycoproteins Renders the Corneal Epithelium Unique Amongst Stratified Epithelia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(1):8-15.
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purpose. To determine desmosomal glycoprotein isoform expression in bovine
corneal, limbal, and conjunctival epithelium and desmosomal profile and
distribution during corneal re-epithelialization.
methods. Immunofluorescence (IF) for desmosomal components on cryostat sections
of fresh epithelia was supported by immunoblot analysis of tissue
lysates. Wounded corneas maintained in organ culture were examined by
IF at times up to full re-epithelialization (96 hours).
results. Immunofluorescence for desmoplakin confirmed desmosome presence
throughout all three epithelia. Plakoglobin was also ubiquitous. Of the
desmosomal glycoproteins, desmocollin 2 (Dsc2) and desmoglein 2 (Dsg2)
were expressed throughout, but Dsc3 and Dsg3 were confined to the
limbus and conjunctiva, and Dsc1 and Dsg1 were absent. Dsc2 and Dsg2
IFs were stronger in superficial layers, but Dsc3 and Dsg3 were
stronger basally, fading suprabasally. Glycoprotein expression in
cornea and conjunctiva was confirmed by immunoblot analysis. No change
in glycoprotein expression occurred during re-epithelialization.
conclusions. Uniquely among stratified epithelia, cornea expresses only a single
pair of desmosomal glycoproteins, Dsc2 and Dsg2. Expression of Dsc3 and
Dsg3 in limbus and conjunctiva coincides with their association with
cell proliferation in other epithelia, but corneal epithelial cells did
not express Dsc3 or Dsg3 during re-epithelialization. Absence of Dsc1
and Dsg1 correlates with lack of keratinization in ocular epithelia.
These expression patterns may have significance for the specific
properties and differentiation patterns of the epithelia. Presence of
desmosomes throughout re-epithelialization raises the question of how
migrating cells mutually re-position.
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