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Munetoyo Toda, Hiroshi Yukawa, Jun Yamada, Morio Ueno, Shigeru Kinoshita, Yoshinobu Baba, Junji Hamuro; In Vivo Fluorescence Visualization of Anterior Chamber Injected Human Corneal Endothelial Cells Labeled With Quantum Dots. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(12):4008-4020. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.19-27788.
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The injection of cultured human corneal endothelial cells (cHCECs) into the anterior chamber (AC) is a newly developed modality for the successful treatment of corneal endothelium dysfunction. Here, we investigated whether or not cHCECs could be labeled using quantum dots (QDs) composed of semiconductor nanoparticle octa-arginine (R8) to trace injected cHCECs and examined the utility of in vivo fluorescence imaging to analyze the dynamics and accumulation of QD-labeled injected cHCECs in a corneal endothelial dysfunction mouse model.
The cHCECs, either of high quality or with cell-state transition, were labeled by adding a mixture of QDs655 and R8. The labeling efficiency and the unchanging of the cell phenotypes by the labeling was confirmed by flow cytometry. The labeled cHCECs were injected into the AC of either healthy mice or mice with corneal endothelium damaged by cryogenic treatment. The kinetics of the injected cHCECs was traced quantitatively via multiphoton confocal laser microscopy.
QD labeling induced no morphologic change in the cHCECs or in the expression of the functional markers of cHCECs (i.e., Na+/K+-ATPase and zonula occludens-1). The injected cHCECs-QDs were quantitatively detected, and the retention of cHCECs-QDs was evident, from 3 to 48 hours post cell injection on the posterior surface in the cryogenically injured corneal endothelium mouse model eyes, yet not in the noninjured healthy control eyes.
The findings of this study show that in the field of regenerative medicine, QD labeling of cells presents a convenient and sensitive method of finely monitoring the fate of injected cells in vivo.
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