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Anti-inflammatory potential of human corneal stroma-derived stem cells determined by a novel in vitro corneal epithelial injury model

Morales, Mariana Lizeth Orozco; Marsit, Nagi M.; McIntosh, Owen D.; Hopkinson, Andrew; Sidney, Laura E.

Anti-inflammatory potential of human corneal stroma-derived stem cells determined by a novel in vitro corneal epithelial injury model Thumbnail


Mariana Lizeth Orozco Morales

Nagi M. Marsit

Owen D. McIntosh

Andrew Hopkinson

Senior Research Fellow


An in vitro injury model mimicking a corneal surface injury was optimised using human corneal epithelial cells (hCEC).

To investigate whether corneal-stroma derived stem cells (CSSC) seeded on an amniotic membrane (AM) construct manifests an anti-inflammatory, healing response.

Treatment of hCEC with ethanol and pro-inflammatory cytokines were compared in terms of viability loss, cytotoxicity, and pro-inflammatory cytokine release, in order to generate the in vitro injury. This resulted in an optimal injury of 20% (v/v) ethanol for 30 s with 1 ng/mL interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta. Co-culture experiments were performed with CSSC alone and with CSSC-AM constructs. The effect of injury and co-culture on viability, cytotoxicity, IL-6 and IL-8 production, and IL1B, TNF, IL6, and CXCL8 mRNA expression were assessed.

Co-culture with CSSC inhibited loss of hCEC viability caused by injury. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction showed a significant reduction in the production of IL-6 and IL-8 pro-inflammatory cytokines, and reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression during co-culture with CSSC alone and with the AM construct. These results confirmed the therapeutic potential of the CSSC and the possible use of AM as a cell carrier for application to the ocular surface.

CSSC were shown to have a potentially therapeutic anti-inflammatory effect when treating injured hCEC, demonstrating an important role in corneal regeneration and wound healing, leading to an improved knowledge of their potential use for research and therapeutic purposes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2019
Online Publication Date Feb 26, 2019
Publication Date Feb 26, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 13, 2019
Journal World Journal of Stem Cells
Electronic ISSN 1948-0210
Publisher Baishideng Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 84-99
Keywords Cornea; Corneal injuries; Injury model; Corneal epithelium; Corneal stromaderived stem cells; Amnion; Anti-inflammatory; Cell therapy
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