In vitro endothelial cell migration from limbal edge-modified Quarter-DMEK grafts

Autoři: Alina Miron aff001;  Daniele Spinozzi aff001;  Sorcha Ní Dhubhghaill aff001;  Jessica T. Lie aff001;  Silke Oellerich aff001;  Gerrit R. J. Melles aff001
Působiště autorů: Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, Rotterdam, The Netherlands aff001;  Melles Cornea Clinic Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands aff002;  Amnitrans EyeBank Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225462


Endothelial cell migration plays a crucial role in achieving corneal clearance after corneal transplantation when using smaller-sized endothelial grafts to increase the donor pool. In this study we investigated how different strategies of Quarter-Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (Quarter-DMEK) limbal graft edge modification influence peripheral endothelial cell migration in an in vitro culture environment. For this study, 15 Quarter-DMEK grafts, prepared from 7 corneas deemed ineligible for transplantation but with intact and viable endothelial cells, were embedded in a cooled biocompatible, thermoresponsive matrix for culture. The limbal edge of ten Quarter-DMEK grafts were modified, either by using a small diameter punch or by peripheral radial cuts. All Quarter-DMEK grafts showed substantial collective endothelial cell migration from the radial cut graft edges, as observed by light microscopy at standardized time intervals. Grafts were retrieved from the polymer matrix after the two-week culture for immunohistochemistry analyses of the newly formed cell monolayers; this demonstrated the presence of tightly packed and viable cells that showed higher migratory ability at the leading edge. Peripheral endothelial cell migration, however, was not triggered by increasing cell exposure to free space through surgical modifications of the far periphery. Our data suggest that alterations in the far peripheral area of Quarter-DMEK grafts were insufficient to triggering cell migration from the limbal graft edge. This may be due to transient-amplifying cells that reside in the far periphery and which lack cytokinetic directional cues. Understanding the migration capacity of the peripheral endothelium could unlock cells’ therapeutic potential which are, at present, routinely discarded from transplantation. Encouraging peripheral cell migration may also improve clinical outcomes from Quarter-DMEK, but a more effective solution is required prior to clinical implementation of modified grafts.

Klíčová slova:

Cell migration – Cornea – Cytoskeletal proteins – Endothelial cells – Immunohistochemical analysis – Light microscopy – Vimentin – Endothelium


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11