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J.D. West, T. Ramaesh, K. Ramaesh, B. Dhillon; Increased Stromal Cell Apoptosis and Epithelial Healing Rate in Wounded Heterozygous Pax6+/– Mouse Cornea: An in vitro Study . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2764.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Corneal wound healing is a complex process that involves interactions between the epithelium and stroma. Early events include epithelial cell migration and apoptosis of superficial stromal keratocytes. Pax6 is upregulated in the corneal epithelium during wound healing. The mouse heterozygous Pax6+/– corneal phenotype mimics human aniridia related keratopathy (ARK). The purpose of this study was to test whether the Pax6+/– genotype affects the epithelial cell migration rate and stromal cell apoptosis during corneal corneal wound healing.
Pax6+/– and wild–type (Pax6+/+) mice were killed and their corneas wounded by epithelial debridement. Whole eyes were cultured in organ culture and corneal epithelial healing rates and keratocyte apoptosis were quantified by topical fluorescein staining and TUNEL respectively.
Quantitative analysis showed that the epithelial wound healing rates during the first 6 h. were significantly faster for larger wounds and increased for Pax6+/– corneas. Compared to wild–type, wounded Pax6+/– eyes showed significantly more stromal cell apoptosis.
Corneal epithelial healing rate appears faster in the Pax6+/– corneas. Increased stromal cell apoptosis may contribute to the corneal changes in the Pax6+/– mice.
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