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H. Zhang, C. Xu, L. Liang, D. Yu, Z. Liu; Participation of Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):6071.
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Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have long been known to be multi-potent with the ability to differentiate into various cells of ectodermal, mesodermal, and endodermal origins. Recent reports have also indicated that transplantation of BMMSCs can reconstruct the damaged rat corneal surface. However, whether MSCs have the ability to differentiate into corneal epithelial cells, and the dynamics of these cells after transplantation remain unclear. The goal of the present study is to investigate the potential of human MSCs in reconstruction of corneal epithelium during wound healing process.
We followed, using a corneal epithelial reconstruction assay, 5-bromo-2’-deoxy-uridine (BrdU) labeled human MSCs transplanted into rabbit corneal limbus with central epithelial debridement. Controls were created by transplanting of the same cells into rabbits without corneal wounds.
Our results indicate that human MSCs can migrate in rabbit cornea during corneal wound healing and recovered corneal epithelia containing MSCs can express specific markers of corneal epithelium (Keratin 3) as normal animals. Wounding could be a stimulating factor for the migration of MSCs on the rabbit corneal surface.
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