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M B Moore, B M Gebhardt, S M Verity, M B McDonald; Fate of lyophilized xenogeneic corneal lenticules in intrastromal implantation and epikeratophakia.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1987;28(3):555-559.
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The antigenicity of intrastromal and epikeratophakia xenografts of lyophilized corneal tissue was evaluated in nonimmune and immune recipients. Lyophilized feline lenticules were implanted into intrastromal pockets in unsensitized rabbits and rabbits sensitized to the donor cat. In both cases, the grafts remained clear. Sensitized rabbits with clear intrastromal grafts received fresh tissue penetrating keratoplasty grafts from the same donor cat, placed adjacent to the intrastromal grafts. The fresh tissue penetrating keratoplasty grafts were rapidly rejected, while the lyophilized intrastromal grafts remained clear. Cats sensitized to rabbits received lyophilized and rehydrated epikeratophakia grafts shaped from rabbit cornea; these lyophilized grafts also remained clear for the 3-month period of the study. The results indicate that lyophilized and rehydrated corneal stroma, which is devoid of living cells, is not antigenic and is not subjected to immunologic attack, even in cases where the donor and host are of different species and the host has been previously immunized to the donor.
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