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Jorge Luis Alio del Barrio, Maria P De Miguel, Jorge L Alio, Massimo Chiesa, Nerea Garagorri, Nerea Garcia, Francisco Arnalich-Montiel, Alejandra Rodríguez, Laurent Bataille; Acellular human corneal matrix sheets seeded with human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells integrate functionally in an experimental animal model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5158.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the in vivo biocompatibility of grafts composed of sheets of decellularized human corneal stroma with or without subsequent human adipose derived adult stem cells (h-ADASC) recellularization into the rabbit cornea.
Sheets of human corneal stroma of 90 µm thickness were decellularized. Their lack of cytotoxicity was assayed. Recellularization was achieved by the injection, in vitro, of 200 x 103 previously labeled h-ADASC inside the graft and five days of cell culture. The grafts were implanted at 50% depth stromal pocket in vivo and after a controlled and triple masking three-month follow up the animals were sacrificed and the biointegration of the graft, the viability of the stem cells and the expression of keratocan (human keratocyte-specific protein) were assessed.
Decellularized stromal sheets showed an intact extracellular matrix with a decellularization rate of 92,8% and an excellent recellularization capacity in vitro with h-ADASC. A complete and stable transparency of the graft was observed during the full follow-up with an absence of any clinical sign of inflammation or rejection, which was confirmed by the histology showing no sign of inflammatory infiltrate or just isolated cells. The postmortem analysis demonstrated the survival of the transplanted human stem cells inside the graft and their differentiation into functional human keratocytes detected by the expression of human keratocan.
We report a new model of lamellar keratoplasty that requires only a simple and safe procedure of liposuction and a donor allogeneic untransplantable cornea to provide an optically transparent autologous stromal graft with demonstrated excellent biocompatibility and integration into the host tissue in a rabbit model.
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