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How Cornea Uses Stem Cells to Repair Itself

A group of researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland have published a study that shows how the cornea uses stem cells to repair itself. Using mouse models, they demonstrate that daily wear and tear on the cornea is repaired from stem cells residing in the corneal epithelium, and that more serious repair jobs require the involvement of other stem cells that migrate from the limbus, a region between the cornea and the conjunctiva—the white part of the eye. The integrity of the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye, is critical for vision. Treatment options for millions of people around the world who suffer from partial or complete blindness due to loss of transparency in their corneas normally involve corneal transplants, but more recently, stem cell therapy is becoming an option. During the study, researchers demonstrated that the epithelium of the cornea also contains stem cells, and that these cells have the capacity to generate two different epithelial tissues: corneal (covering

A group of researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland have published a study that shows how the cornea uses stem cells to repair itself.  Using mouse models, they demonstrate that daily wear and tear on the cornea is repaired from stem cells residing in the corneal epithelium, and that more serious repair jobs require the involvement of other stem cells that migrate from the limbus, a region between the cornea and the conjunctiva—the white part of the eye. The integrity of the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye, is critical for vision. Treatment options for millions of people around the world who suffer from partial or complete blindness due to loss of transparency in their corneas normally involve corneal transplants, but more recently, stem cell therapy is becoming an option. During the study, researchers demonstrated that the epithelium of the cornea also contains stem cells, and that these cells have the capacity to generate two different epithelial tissues: corneal (covering the transparent part of the eye) and conjunctival (covering the white part of the eye). They demonstrated experimentally that these are the stem cells activated in daily corneal renewal. The stem cells residing in the limbus have a different role; they are only activated when the cornea is seriously wounded.

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