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Wei Li, Yehui Tan, Fangfang Qiu, Yi Shao, Zhirong Lin, Wensheng Chen, Yueping Zhou, Cheng Li, Zuguo Liu; Amniotic Membrane Inhibits Squamous Metaplasia of Human Conjunctival Epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1938.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Squamous metaplasia is a common pathologic process that happens in ocular surface epithelium. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of human amniotic membrane on squamous metaplasia of human conjunctival epithelium in an ex vivo culture model.
Human normal conjunctival tissues were cultured under airlift manner with or without human amniotic membrane (AM) or AM extract for different durations up to 12 days. Conjunctival epithelial cell differentiation and proliferation were evaluated by K10, MUC5AC, Pax6, Ki67, K14, K16 and p63 expression. P38 MAPK and Wnt signal related proteins such as phospho-p38, β-catenin and phospho-β-catenin were studied by immunostaining.
Squamous metaplasia was induced in conjunctival epithelium through airlift culture, as evidenced by increased stratification, positive expression of K10 and K16, increased K14, Ki67 and p63, and declined or absent of Pax6 and MUC5AC. When cultured with AM, hyper-proliferation and abnormal epidermal differentiation of conjunctival epithelium were inhibited to a large extent, although MUC5AC expression gradually diminished. Squamous metaplasia of conjunctival epithelium could also reverse to nearly normal phenotype after 12 days co-culture with AM. Further more, AM extract exhibited similar activity in terms of preventing squamous metaplasia of conjunctival epithelium. P38 MAPK and Wnt signaling pathways were activated in conjunctival explants cultured under airlift manner, while down-regulated when conjunctival explants were co-cultured with AM.
Amniotic membrane can inhibit and reverse squamous metaplasia of conjunctival epithelium. This may shed new light on prevention and treatment for diseases with epithelial squamous metaplasia.
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