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Gui-Gang Li, Juan Wang, Xinyu Li, Scheffer C G Tseng, Limbal stem cell niche group; Human limbal niche cell support epithelial stem cell through Stem Cell Factor pathway. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):501.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To study the relationship between stem cell factor pathway and maintenance of limbal stem cell by their niche cells.
The expression of stem cell factor (SCF) and C-kit in human and mouse limbus niche were examined with immune histochemical staining and western blot. The expression of SCF in cultured human limbal niche cell (LNC) was examined with Immunofluorescence staining, western blot and ELISA. The effects of LNC transplantation for alkali burn limbal stem cell defect model were tested using bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cell (BM-MSC) as control.
Both stem cell factor (SCF) and C-kit could be detected in the stromal and epithelial cells within the limbus. Passaged LNC expressed higher level of SFC than that of BM-MSC, but the level of SFC peaked at passage four and dropt then. In the alkali burn limbal stem cell defect animal model, subconjunctiva injection of LNC immediately after burn could prevented the destroy of limbal stem cell and neovascularization of the cornea, with a better cornea transparent outcome than did BM-MSC.
These findings suggest SCF pathway may play key role in the maintenance of limbal stem cell by their niche cells.
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