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L.P. Ang, H. Tanioka, S. Kawasaki, N. Yokoi, A. Komuro, T. Inatomi, S. Kinoshita; Cultivated Human Conjunctival Epithelial Transplantation for Total Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):4929.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To evaluate the clinical results of cultivated human conjunctival epithelial (HCjE) transplantation for total limbal stem cell (LSC) deficiency, and to compare it with cultivated human corneal epithelial (HCE) transplantation.
HCjE and HCE were cultivated on human amniotic membrane (AM). Total LSC deficiency was created in rabbit eyes by surgically removing the entire corneal epithelium and limbal tissue up to 2mm beyond the limbus. These rabbits were divided into 3 treatment groups: Group 1– cultivated HCjE transplantation (n=7), group 2– cultivated HCE transplantation (n=7) and group 3– plain AM transplantation (n=6). Subconjunctival steroids and systemic FK506 were administered to prevent graft rejection. Rabbits were followed–up with slit lamp examination and the corneas were excised and analyzed at 2 weeks by histology and immunohistochemistry.
Cultivated HCjE and HCE transplantation achieved immediate epithelialization of the corneal surface. HCjE and HCE transplanted corneas remained clear and smooth. The transplanted cultivated conjunctival and corneal epithelia remained intact throughout the follow–up period. In contrast, plain AM transplanted eyes had persistent epithelial defects with greater inflammation and vascularization. Engrafted HCjE and HCE were morphologically similar, with 5–6 layers of stratified epithelial cells.
Cultivated HCjE transplantation may be used to re–epithelialize and stabilise the corneal surface in eyes with total limbal stem cell deficiency.
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