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Genesis 2021 Feb 01;591-2:e23411. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23411.
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Understanding cornea epithelial stem cells and stem cell deficiency: Lessons learned using vertebrate model systems.

Adil MT , Henry JJ .

Animal models have contributed greatly to our understanding of human diseases. Here, we focus on cornea epithelial stem cell (CESC) deficiency (commonly called limbal stem cell deficiency, LSCD). Corneal development, homeostasis and wound healing are supported by specific stem cells, that include the CESCs. Damage to or loss of these cells results in blindness and other debilitating ocular conditions. Here we describe the contributions from several vertebrate models toward understanding CESCs and LSCD treatments. These include both mammalian models, as well as two aquatic models, Zebrafish and the amphibian, Xenopus. Pioneering developments have been made using stem cell transplants to restore normal vision in patients with LSCD, but questions still remain about the basic biology of CESCs, including their precise cell lineages and behavior in the cornea. We describe various cell lineage tracing studies to follow their patterns of division, and the fates of their progeny during development, homeostasis, and wound healing. In addition, we present some preliminary results using the Xenopus model system. Ultimately, a more thorough understanding of these cornea cells will advance our knowledge of stem cell biology and lead to better cornea disease therapeutics.

PubMed ID: 33576188
Article link: Genesis
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: abcb5 agtr1 cfp dpt gpi h2bc21 hsp70 krt12.1 pax6
GO keywords: cornea development in camera-type eye

Phenotypes: PUV treatment of cornea [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions