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M. Kokado, Y. Okada, K. Ishikawa, M. Goto, S. Fujiwara, M. Miyajima, S. Saika; Perturbed Intraepithelial Differentiation and Accelerated Healing in Corneal Epithelium of Epiplakin-Null Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):6283.
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To examine the roles of Epiplakin (EPPK) in the intraepithelial differentiation and healing of a defect in corneal epithelium by using ERRK-deficient mice.
(1) Ten EPPK-/- (KO) and 10 EPPK+/+ (WT) mice were used. To evaluate the intraepithelial differentiation from basal cells to superficial cells, histology and ultrastructure of the corneal epithelium was observed. The expression of keratin 14 (K14), a specific keratin of basal cells of stratified epithelia, was examined to analyze intraepithelial epithelial differentiation. (2) A circular defect was created in central cornea of the right eye of 10 KO and 10 WT mice by using a 2-mm trephine and a blade. The closure of the epithelial defect was determined by fluorescein staining.
(1) Morphologically basal cell-like epithelial cells were observed in the supra-basal layer in corneal epithelium of KO mice, where more differentiated cells were seen in WT corneal epithelium. Such suprabasal cells of an abnormal morphology were labeled with anti-K14 antibody in KO corneal epithelium, while K14-positive cells were observed in basal layer in corneal epithelium of WT mice (2) Loss of EPPK accelerated the wound closure in corneal epithelium form 18 to 24 hrs post-wounding (p<0.05). K-14 positive cells were observed in migrating corneal epithelium of both WT and KO mice.
The absence of EPPK disturbs the differentiation from basal cells to superficial cells in corneal epithelium in mice. Lacking EPPK accelerates migration of healing corneal epithelium. Abundance of K14-labeled basal cell-like cells in suprabasal layer might account for the promotion of epithelial healing.
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