Transplanting human stem cells from umbilical cords onto the abnormally thin, cloudy corneas of laboratory mice significantly improved corneal transparency and increased the thickness of the animals' corneal stroma, the transparent middle layer, according to research that will be presented at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 49th Annual Meeting, Dec. 5-9, 2009 in San Diego.
These research results come at a time of limited supply of donated human corneas for treating patients with severe corneal and genetic eye diseases. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UMSCs) transplants may prove to be an alternative to corneal transplant surgeries.
The transplanted UMSCs survived in the mouse corneal stroma for more than three months with minimal signs of graft rejection, Winston Kao, Ph.D., of the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine reported at the ASCB conference.
In contrast, human umbilical hematopoietic stem cells (HUHSCs), the stem cells that give rise to all blood cells types, rapidly vanished from the mouse corneas when they were transplanted into the animals' eyes. Unlike the UMSCs, the HUHSCs were victims of graft-host rejection.
Kao reported that histological and immune fluorescence staining showed that the transplanted UMSCs could trans-differentiate and assume the appearance of normal corneal keratocytes.
The new cells expressed critical keratocyte markers such as keratocan and aldehyde dehydrogenase as well as the adhesion protein, CD34, all with little or no graft reaction.
The animal model for these studies, a special knockout mouse, was genetically engineered to lack the gene for making lumican, a protein essential for the formation and maintenance of a transparent cornea. Knockout mice without lumican have thin and cloudy corneas.
The supply of human corneas for transplantation is under threat from an unexpected direction: laser eye surgery. Reconfiguring the refractive surface of the cornea through laser surgery unfortunately can leave the cornea unsuitable for later organ donation. About 50,000 corneal transplants are performed each year in the U.S.
Having his proof of principle in hand, Kao said that he believes that UMSC transplants as an alternative treatment for severe genetic and corneal diseases are well worth pursuing. Unlike donated corneas, the supply of human UMSCs is almost unlimited, Kao said.
UMSCs are easy to isolate from the umbilical cord, their numbers can be expanded in cell culture, and they can be stored ⎯ and quickly recovered ⎯ from liquid nitrogen when a patient is in urgent need of a clear, healthy cornea.
Kao's research team included scientists at University of California, Irvine, Bionet Incorporated, Taipei, Taiwan, as well as University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.
Winston W-Y Kao, Ph.D. (513-558-2802; Winston.Kao@UC.Edu) will present poster, "Cell Therapy of Corneal Diseases with Umbilical Mesenchymal Stem Cells" on Tuesday, Dec. 8, during the 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Poster Session 3, Program #1694, Board #B73, Exhibit Halls D-H.
Cathy Yarbrough | EurekAlert!
Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)
CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy