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Ladan Espandar, Tomas Blanco, Rose Mathew, Natalie Afshari, Bruce Bunnell, Daniel Saban; Human adipose-derived stem cells promote wound healing of corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):992. doi: https://doi.org/.
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Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) have been shown to promote wound healing in the skin, and may thus have potential application for ocular surface regenerative therapy and wound healing. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of hASCs on corneal epithelial cells (CECs) using an in vitro wound healing model.
An established in vitro epithelial wound-healing model was utilized in which a 0.5 mm scratch was made on a monolayer of confluent human corneal epithelial cells (hCECs). hASCs seeded on a transwell membrane was added to determine their effect on epithelial wound healing. Controls included scratched CECs without the addition of hASCs, or mitomycin-C-treated scratched hCECs. Wound closure was evaluated by time-lapse inverted microscopy for a minimum of 24 hours. The average wound width and migration speed at seven random areas were assessed and quantified digitally using MetaMorph® software.
Wound closure in the condition containing CECs alone took as long as 18 hours, whereas the addition of hASCs decreased this time significantly to 13 hours. Likewise, without hASCs the average wound width (166.6 µm) was significantly higher than with hASCs (138.7 µm, p<0.01). In addition, epithelial migration speed of CECs alone was 57.7 µm/hr, while the addition of hASCs increased this to 70 µm/hr. No migration or wound closure was observed with the mitomycin-C-treated hCECs control.
hASCs promote wound closure of corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Therefore, future studies are warranted to examine the therapeutic potential of hASCs in corneal epithelial wound healing.
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