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E. J. Ewald, R. E. Martinez, M. I. Rosenblatt, A. Navas, V. L. Perez; In vivo Imaging of Corneal Nerves Regeneration and Graft Survival After Corneal Transplantion in Thy1-YFP Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):1962.
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To assess in vivo corneal nerve regeneration and graft survival after orthotopic corneal transplant using neurofluorescent homozygous thy1-YFP C57BL/6 mice (YFP).
YFP mice recipients received allogeneic corneal transplants from Balb/c (H2d) donors. Alternatively, syneneic and allogeneic corneal transplants were performed using YFP donor corneas to wild type Balb/c (H-2d) and C57BL/6 (H-2b) recipients, respectively. In vivo imaging of corneal nerve growth was monitored using green light fluorescent stereomicroscope at different time points. NIH supported image-J software was used to quantify nerve regeneration fluorescence in the corneal grafts.
In YFP recipients, corneal nerve regeneration was detected as early as day 3 after transplantation. At 7 days post transplant, nerves could be track at the paracentral cornea in all mice; by day 20, the nerves had reach the periphery of the central cornea. No correlation between nerve infiltration and graft rejection was observed. Interestingly, in mice that received YFP donor corneas, nerve fluorescence was significantly reduce by day 3 after transplantation; from this time until the conclusion of the experiment, no nerve fluorescence was detected in YFP donor corneas or its recipients.
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