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Comparison of ultrastructure, tight junction-related protein expression and barrier function of human corneal epithelial cells with and without air-lifting.

Ban, Yuriko and Cooper, Leanne J. and Fullwood, Nigel J. and Nakamura, Takahiro and Tsuzuki, Masakatsu and Koizumi, Noriko and Dota, Atsuyoshi and Mochida, Chikako and Kinoshita, Shigeru (2003) Comparison of ultrastructure, tight junction-related protein expression and barrier function of human corneal epithelial cells with and without air-lifting. Experimental Eye Research, 76 (6). pp. 735-743.

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Abstract

Purpose. To evaluate the usefulness of the air-lifting technique for culturing corneal limbal epithelial cells on amniotic membrane (AM) for use in ocular surface reconstruction. A cultured sheet that has a good barrier function should be better for this purpose. In corneal epithelium, tight junctions (TJ) play a vital role in the barrier function. The TJ complex includes the integral transmembrane proteins occludin and the claudins, and some membrane-associated proteins such as ZO-1. In this paper, we investigated the barrier function and the expression of TJ related proteins. Methods. Corneal limbal epithelium obtained from donor corneas and cultivated on acellular AM was divided into two groups. These were the non-air-lifting (Non-AL) group, which was continuously submerged in medium, and the air-lifting (AL) group, which was submerged in medium for 3 weeks, then exposed to air by lowering the medium level. Morphology and the permeability to horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were determined by electron microscopy. Tight junction (TJ)-related protein and mRNA expression changes were assessed by immunoblotting and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Results. The cultures of both groups formed 4–5-layer-thick, well-stratified epithelium. The AL cultures had tightly packed epithelial cells with all the HRP/diaminobenzidine (DAB) reaction product accumulated on the apical surface of the superficial cells. The Non-AL culture, by contrast, had more loosely packed epithelial cells with larger intercellular spaces. The HRP/DAB reaction product penetrated the intercellular space to a depth of 3–4 cell layers. Statistically, there was a significant difference in intercellular spaces and desmosome count in the superficial cells between the groups. With AL, TJ-related proteins localized at the apical portion of the lateral membrane. TJ-related protein and mRNA amounts were not changed by AL while claudin subtype expression became more consistent and closer to that of in vivo corneal epithelium. Conclusions. The AL technique reduces intercellular spaces in the superficial cells and promotes the formation of the barrier function. It is useful in culturing corneal epithelial cells for use in ocular surface reconstruction.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Experimental Eye Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: ocular surface reconstruction ; cell culture ; corneal epithelium ; corneal transplantation ; tight junction ; air-lifting
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
Faculty of Health and Medicine > Biomedical & Life Sciences
ID Code: 9083
Deposited By: Dr Nigel J Fullwood
Deposited On: 23 May 2008 13:52
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:31
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9083

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