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Aurelie Dos Santos, Alis Balayan, Martha L. Funderburgh, John Ngo, James L. Funderburgh, Sophie X. Deng; Differentiation Capacity of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Keratocyte Lineage. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(8):3013-3023. doi: 10.1167/iovs.19-27008.
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been extensively studied for their capacity to enhance wound healing and represent a promising research field for generating cell therapies for corneal scars. In the present study, we investigated MSCs from different tissues and their potential to differentiate toward corneal keratocytes.
Adipose-derived stem cells, bone marrow MSCs, umbilical cord stem cells, and corneal stromal stem cells (CSSCs) were characterized by their expression of surface markers CD105, CD90, and CD73, and their multilineage differentiation capacity into adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes. MSCs were also evaluated for their potential to differentiate toward keratocytes, and for upregulation of the anti-inflammatory protein TNFα-stimulated gene-6 (TNFAIP6) after simulation by IFN-γ and TNF-α.
Keratocyte lineage induction was achieved in all MSCs as indicated by the upregulated expression of keratocyte markers, including keratocan, lumican, and carbohydrate sulfotransferase. TNFAIP6 response to inflammatory stimulation was observed only in CSSCs; increasing by 3-fold compared with the control (P < 0.05).
Based on our findings, CSSCs appeared to have the greatest differentiation potential toward the keratocyte lineage and the greatest anti-inflammatory properties in vitro.
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