Differentiation of embryonic stem cells into corneal epithelium.

TitleDifferentiation of embryonic stem cells into corneal epithelium.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWang, Z, Ge, J, Huang, B, Gao, Q, Liu, B, Wang, L, Yu, L, Fan, Z, Lu, X, Liu, J
JournalSci China C Life Sci
Date Published2005 Oct
KeywordsAnimals, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Differentiation, Cell Line, Embryonic Induction, Embryonic Stem Cells, Epithelium, Corneal, Extracellular Matrix, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Nude, Rabbits

Our project was to determine whether embryonic stem (ES) cells could be induced to differentiate into corneal epithelia by superficial corneoscleral limbal stroma. To achieve this goal, ES-GFP cell line D3 was pre-induced by retinoic acid (RA). The pre-induced cells were seeded on deepithelialized superficial corneoscleral slices (SCSS) to form a monolayer, and divided into three groups. Group 1 was cultured and passaged in vitro for direct detection. Group 2 was exposed to air-liquid interfaces for 10 days and implanted into the subcutaneous layer of nude mice for 2 weeks for further induction in vivo. Group 3 was cultured in vitro without any inducing factors for control. There were no teratomas found in nude mice which were implanted with differentiated ES cells after two weeks. The differentiated cells showed an appearance of epithelia both in vitro and in vivo. Expression of CK3, P63 and PCNA was detected by immunohistochemical staining in the differentiated cells in group 1 and 2. Microvillis and zonula occludens were observed on the surface of the differentiated cells under an electron microscope. In the control group, ES cells differentiated freely without any inducing factors. Most cells were shed and formed a neuronal dendrite-like structure, and a minority of cells appeared polymorphic. These results demonstrate that ES cells can differentiate into corneal epithelia on the surface of SCSS under the controlled condition. Differentiated ES cells could be used as epithelial seeding cells for the reconstruction of ocular surface and corneal tissue engineering in the future.

Alternate JournalSci. China, C, Life Sci.
PubMed ID16315598