May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Transdifferentiation of Murine Ciliary Epithelial Cells
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. A. Cicero
    Developmental Neurobiology, St Jude Children's Res Hosp, Memphis, Tennessee
  • M. A. Dyer
    Developmental Neurobiology, St Jude Children's Res Hosp, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  S.A. Cicero, None; M.A. Dyer, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  ACS, Pew Foundation, NIH NEI, Hartwell Foundation
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 3574. doi:
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      S. A. Cicero, M. A. Dyer; Transdifferentiation of Murine Ciliary Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):3574. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To fully characterize the sphere forming cells arising from the adult ciliary epithelium.

Methods: : Ciliary epithelia (CE) and spheres derived from ciliary epithelia were analyzed by TEM, real-time RT-PCR, dual beam electron microscopy (FIB) and immuno-fluorescence. Cultures of differentiated spheres were analyzed by immuno-fluorescence. Cell cycle analysis was done with the addition of 3H-thymidine. Adult retina, RPE, iris, and CE, as well as adult brain SVZ (sub-ventricular zone) and neurospheres derived from the adult SVZ, were used as controls.

Results: : Data from our cell cycle labeling studies as well as dual beam FIB indicates that the proliferative cells maintain their differentiated ciliary phenotype. Cells in CE-derived spheres had junctional complexes such as tight junctions, similar to the CE from which they were derived. CE-derived spheres expressed genes that are found in the CE and few retinal markers. Differentiated cultures expressed genes of both the CE and the retina.

Conclusions: : The cells that form spheres in vitro more closely resemble the cells of the ciliary epithelium than those of the retina. The data are more consistent with a transdifferentiation mechanism rather than a stem cell mechanism.

Keywords: ciliary body • differentiation • proliferation 

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