Advances in the isolation and culture of limbal niche cells

Authors: Xiao Yuting,  Xie Huatao,  Zhang Mingchang
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20200904-00629
Published 2024-04-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2024, 42(4): 387-392.

Abstract                              Download PDF】 【Read Full Text

Limbal niche cells (LNCs) in the limbal niche, a type of mesenchymal stem cells closely associated with limbal epithelial stem/progenitor cells (LESCs), heterogeneously express both mesenchymal and putative embryonic stem cell markers and play a critical role in regulating the quiescence, self-renewal, and differentiation of LESCs.Previous studies have shown that LNCs can be isolated by collagenase, dispase, dispase-collagenase and explant culture.Transwell and 3D Matrigel coculture are widely used in ex vivo studies of LNCs and LESCs, and the interactive mechanism may include SDF-1/CXCR4, Notch, BMP, Wnt, Sonic Hedgehog, and KIT/AKT signaling pathways, and various cytokines such as nerve growth factor, keratinocyte growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor.LNCs have become a hot topic in corneal epithelial tissue engineering, ocular surface reconstruction, and corneal regeneration.This review provides an overview of the research background, isolation and culture methods, interaction mechanism of LNCs with LESCs, and its application prospects.

Key words:

Cornea; Limbal niche cells; Limbal epithelial stem cells; Limbal stem cell deficiency; Tissue engineering; Ocular surface reconstruction

Contributor Information

Xiao Yuting

Department of Ophthalmology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

Xie Huatao

Department of Ophthalmology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

Zhang Mingchang

Department of Ophthalmology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

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