Corneal Plasticity: Characterization of the Multipotentiality of Human Keratocytes
Purpose: To determine the cell properties of adult human corneal keratocytes when challenged in the chick embryonic environment. Methods: Cultured human keratocytes were injected along cranial neural crest migratory pathways in chick embryos. Human keratocytes were also cultured under various conditions and differentiated into either fibroblasts or myofibroblasts, then transplanted into the chick embryo. Migration of the injected cells was determined by immunohistochemistry using human cell-specific markers and markers of crest derivatives. Results: Injected human keratocytes proliferated and migrated ventrally adjacent to host neural crest cells. They contributed to numerous neural crest-derived tissues including cranial blood vessels, ocular tissues, musculature of the mandibular process, and cardiac cushion tissue. Conclusions: Adult human corneal keratocytes that have undergone terminal differentiation can be induced to form cranial neural crest derivatives when grafted into an embryonic environment.
© 2008 by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Support: Fight for Sight Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant and Heed Fellowship to JRC, NIH grants to MBF, K99/R00 EY018050 to PYL.
Published - Bronner-Fraser_2008p4812.pdf