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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 665-671

Transplantation of cultured rhesus monkey vascular endothelial cells to allogeneic cornea concomitant with stripping of Descemet's membrane

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Fourth Affi liated Hospital of Kunming Medical University (Second People's Hospital of Yunnan Province), Kunming, China
2 Primate Research Center, Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Kunming, China

Correspondence Address:
Zhulin Hu
Department of Ophthalmology, Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Second People's Hospital of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650021
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.169788

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Context: In cases of damaged corneal endothelium cells (CECs) of the eye, transplantation of cultured vascular endothelial cells (VECs) may be a viable method to restore transparency. Aims: To evaluate the viability of replacing damaged primate CECs with cultured allogeneic VECs. Subjects and Methods: Rhesus monkey VECs (RMVECs) were cultured and proliferating cells were labeled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) in vitro. RMs of the experimental group (n = 6) underwent manual Descemettt membrane stripping with transplantation of RMVECs labeled with BrdU; those in the control group received manual Descemetnt membrane stripping without transplantation. Postoperative evaluations included the transparency and appearance of the corneal graft; distribution and ultrastructural changes of RMVECs on the inner surface of the cornea using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistological identification of BrdU. Results: At 90 days postsurgery, the corneal grafts of the monkeys in the experimental group retained better transparency than those of the controls, without corneal neovascularization or bullous keratopathy. A layer of cells with positive BrdU staining was found on the posterior surface of the treated corneas in the experimental group, while there was no VEC structure in corneal grafts from the monkeys of the control group. Conclusions: RMVECs can grow on the posterior surface of the cornea without Descemet's membrane. Cultured and transplanted RMVECs appeared similar in ultrastructure. VECs can provide a barrier to maintain corneal dehydration and transparency to some extent.

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