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N. Rocher, A. Berthaut, J. Bourges, P. Mirshahi, N. Benabbou, D. Azzazene, C. Bordu, A. Therwath, J. Legeais, M. Mirshahi; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1 Expression in Human Corneal Fibroblast Decreased With Age. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):6233.
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The arrangement of cells within stroma is an essential mechanism in the maintenance of corneal transparency depending partly of a network of digitations between fibroblasts. We have investigated in vitro the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptors (VEGFR) in human corneal network formation from donors aged from 19 to 89 years.
Corneal fibroblasts were prepared from human cornea. The functional properties of these cells to form a network were analysed using a semi-solid matrix. The presence of VEGFR-1 and functionality in these fibroblasts were investigated using immunofluorescence, molecular analysis and cell culture.
Corneal fibroblasts from 61 donors were classified into two groups according to the whether they formed (82%) or not (18%) a reticulum on Matrigel. We showed that corneal fibroblasts expressed VEGFR-1 and more that only network forming corneal fibroblast expressed VEGFR-1 in contrast to non network-forming fibroblasts. Use of inhibitors indicated that VEGFR-1 was essential to the formation of corneal network.
The cell reticulum formation seemed to be directly related to the expression of VEGFR-1 in corneal fibroblast and this expression decreased with age (probably related to diminution of autocrine functions which may alter the over all tissular homeostasis).This may culminates in gradual development of poor vision, observed in certain pathologies and in aging individuals.
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