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Debjani Gagen, Zhijie Li, Rolando E. Rumbaut, Clifton W. Smith, Alan R. Burns; Platelets and T Cells are Important for Efficient Keratocyte Repopulation Following Corneal Epithelial Abrasion in the Mouse. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5303.
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Central corneal epithelial abrasion results in inflammation and anterior central keratocyte death. During inflammation, platelets accumulate at the limbus and previously we showed that platelets are necessary for efficient keratatocyte repopulation. This is evidenced by blunted keratocyte recovery (by >80%) in wild type (WT) mice depleted of platelets. To further substantiate a role for platelets in keratocyte recovery, we wished to determine if keratocyte repopulation was impaired in the corneas of P-selectin-/- mice, where limbal platelet accumulation is markedly diminished. As well, we wanted to assess keratocyte repopulation in TCRΔ-/- mice where the absence of corneal γΔ T cells markedly diminishes platelet recruitment to the limbus after corneal epithelial abrasion.
A 2 mm diameter central epithelial region was mechanically debrided from the right corneas of male C57Bl/6 WT, P-selectin-/-, and TCRΔ-/- mice (n=5, each). Uninjured and 4 day-injured corneas were immunostained and imaged on a DeltaVision Core deconvolution microscope. Central keratocyte nuclei were counted through the thickness of the stroma and statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism.
Baseline anterior central keratocyte nuclei counts were similar for WT, P-selectin-/-, and TCRΔ-/- mice. Four days post-injury, WT anterior central keratocyte numbers recovered to 72% of baseline. Keratocyte recovery in P-selectin-/- and TCRΔ-/- mice was significantly impaired, reaching only 31% and 22% of baseline, respectively.
Collectively, the data are consistent with important roles for platelets and γΔ T cells in anterior central keratocyte recovery following corneal epithelial abrasion. The role of the γΔ T cell in keratocyte repopulation may be tied to its involvement in platelet recruitment.
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