To investigate the optimum conditions for the differentiation of a mouse embryonic stem cell line towards corneal epithelial cell fate.Materials & methods:
The effect of conditioned media from both metabolically active (to produce lineage A) and growth-arrested limbal fibroblasts (lineage G) were compared with basal media (lineage N) in terms of morphology and marker expression, assessed by immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription PCR. Cultures were transplanted into a porcine ex vivo model to investigate their ability for wound healing and cornea repair.Results:
Lineage N exhibited cobblestone morphology and expressed CK12 and p63α, while OCT4 and SSEA1 were downregulated. Post-transplantation, these cells were able to multilayer and heal after wounding while maintaining marker expression.Conclusion:
Lineages with corneal epithelial-like characteristics, which are derived from embryonic stem cells, have potential for use in the study of corneal wound healing and therapy.