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M. Kawashima, T. Kawakita, S. Shimmura, K. Higa, Y. Satake, J. Shimazaki, K. Tsubota; Subepithelial Corneal Fibrosis Partially Due to Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition of Limbal Epithelium. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2351. doi: https://doi.org/.
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To determine whether epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is involved in corneal subepithelial fibrosis (pannus) in tissue surgically removed from patients with total limbal stem cell deficiency.
Frozen sections of pannus tissue removed from 10 human corneas with total limbal stem cell deficiency was examined for their phenotype using anti-keratin (K)-3, K10, K12, K13,15 and K19 monoclonal antibodies.β-catenin and E-cadherin expression were also examined to observe Wnt-pathway activation. p63 and pancytokeratin were used as epithelial markers, and S100A4 andα-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA ) for mesenchymal marker. Epithelium was also removed from pannus after dispase digestion, and cultured for RT-PCR analysis for quantitative analysis.
Epithelial basal cells in the pannus showed strong nuclear expression of p63, weak E-cadherin, and translocation of beta-catenin from intercellular junctions to the cytoplasm was observed. Furthermore, p63 and S100A4 positive cells were found in the stroma of the pannus.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition was partially involved in subepithelial corneal fibrosis due to the total limbal stem cell deficiency.
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