Cell-Type-Specific Adhesiveness and Proliferation Propensity on Laminin Isoforms Enable Purification of iPSC-Derived Corneal Epithelium.
ABSTRACT: A treatment for intractable diseases is expected to be the replacement of damaged tissues with products from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Target cell purification is a critical step for realizing hiPSC-based therapy. Here, we found that hiPSC-derived ocular cell types exhibited unique adhesion specificities and growth characteristics on distinct E8 fragments of laminin isoforms (LNE8s): hiPSC-derived corneal epithelial cells (iCECs) and other non-CECs rapidly adhered preferentially to LN332/411/511E8 and LN211E8, respectively, through differential expression of laminin-binding integrins. Furthermore, LN332E8 promoted epithelial cell proliferation but not that of the other eye-related cells, leading to non-CEC elimination by cell competition. Combining these features with magnetic sorting, highly pure iCEC sheets were fabricated. Thus, we established a simple method for isolating iCECs from various hiPSC-derived cells without using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. This study will facilitate efficient manufacture of iCEC sheets for corneal disease treatment and provide insights into target cell-specific scaffold selection.
Project description:The in vitro induction of corneal epithelial cells (CECs) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represents a new strategy for obtaining CE stem/progenitor cells for the surgical reconstruction of a diseased or injured ocular surface. The clinical promise of this strategy is considerable, but if the approaches' potential is to be realised, robust methods for the purification of iPSC-derived CE lineage cells need to be developed to avoid contamination with other cells that may carry the risk of unwanted side effects, such as tumorigenesis. Experiments conducted here revealed that during CEC isolation, CD200-negative selection using a cell sorter considerably reduced the contamination of the cell population with various non-CECs compared with what could be achieved using TRA-1-60, a conventional negative marker for CECs. Furthermore, CD200-negative sorting did not affect the yield of CECs nor that of their stem/progenitor cells. Single-cell gene expression analysis for CEC sheets obtained using CD200-negative sorting showed that all analysed cells were CE-lineage cells, expressing PAX6, delta-N p63, and E-cadherin. Non-CECs, on the other hand, expressed non-CEC genes such as FGFR1 and RPE65. CD200, thus, represents a robust negative marker for purification of induced CE lineage cells, which is expressed by undifferentiated iPSCs and non-CECs, including iPSC-derived neural and retinal cells.
Project description:Introduction:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induces the loss of cell-cell interactions in polarized epithelial cells and converts these cells to invasive mesenchymal-like cells. It is also involved in tissue fibrosis including that occurring in some ocular surface diseases such as pterygium and in subepithelial corneal fibrosis in limbal stem cell deficiency. Here, we examined the effects of the secretome of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AdMSCs) on EMT in human corneal epithelial cells (CECs). Methods:EMT was induced with transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) in primary human CECs isolated from the human corneal limbus. The effects of the AdMSC secretome on EMT in these cells or stratified CEC sheets were analyzed by co-cultivation experiments with the addition of AdMSC conditioned-medium. The expression of EMT-related genes and proteins in CECs was analyzed. The superstructure of CECs was observed by scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, the barrier function of CEC sheets was analyzed by measuring transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). Results:The AdMSC secretome was found to suppress EMT-related gene expression and attenuate TGF-?-induced corneal epithelial dysfunction including the dissociation of cell-cell interactions and decreases in TER in constructed CEC sheets. Conclusions:The secretome of AdMSCs can inhibit TGF-?-induced EMT in CECs. These findings suggest that this could be a useful source for the treatment for EMT-related ocular surface diseases.
Project description:AIM:To generate human embryonic stem cell derived corneal endothelial cells (hESC-CECs) for transplantation in patients with corneal endothelial dystrophies. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Feeder-free hESC-CECs were generated by a directed differentiation protocol. hESC-CECs were characterized by morphology, expression of corneal endothelial markers, and microarray analysis of gene expression. RESULTS:hESC-CECs were nearly identical morphologically to primary human corneal endothelial cells, expressed Zona Occludens 1 (ZO-1) and Na+/K+ATPase?1 (ATPA1) on the apical surface in monolayer culture, and produced the key proteins of Descemet's membrane, Collagen VIII?1 and VIII?2 (COL8A1 and 8A2). Quantitative PCR analysis revealed expression of all corneal endothelial pump transcripts. hESC-CECs were 96% similar to primary human adult CECs by microarray analysis. CONCLUSION:hESC-CECs are morphologically similar, express corneal endothelial cell markers and express a nearly identical complement of genes compared to human adult corneal endothelial cells. hESC-CECs may be a suitable alternative to donor-derived corneal endothelium.
Project description:Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) are very important for the maintenance of corneal transparency. However, in vitro, CECs display limited proliferation and loss of phenotype via endothelial to mesenchymal transformation (EMT) and cellular senescence. In this study, we demonstrate that continuous supplementary nutrition using a perfusion culture bioreactor and three-dimensional (3D) spheroid culture can be used to improve CEC expansion in culture and to construct a tissue-engineered CEC layer. Compared with static culture, perfusion-derived CECs exhibited an increased proliferative ability as well as formed close cell-cell contact junctions and numerous surface microvilli. We also demonstrated that the CEC spheroid culture significantly down-regulated gene expression of the proliferation marker Ki67 and EMT-related markers Vimentin and ?-SMA, whereas the gene expression level of the CEC marker ATP1A1 was significantly up-regulated. Furthermore, use of the perfusion system in conjunction with a spheroid culture on decellularized corneal scaffolds and collagen sheets promoted the generation of CEC monolayers as well as neo-synthesized ECM formation. This study also confirmed that a CEC spheroid culture on a curved collagen sheet with controlled physiological intraocular pressure could generate a CEC monolayer. Thus, our results show that the use of a perfusion system and 3D spheroid culture can promote CEC expansion and the construction of tissue-engineered corneal endothelial layers in vitro.
Project description:The corneal endothelium is a monolayer of hexagonal corneal endothelial cells (CECs) on the inner surface of the cornea. CECs are critical in maintaining corneal transparency through their barrier and pump functions. CECs in vivo have a limited capacity in proliferation, and loss of a significant number of CECs results in corneal edema called bullous keratopathy which can lead to severe visual loss. Corneal transplantation is the most effective method to treat corneal endothelial dysfunction, where it suffers from donor shortage. Therefore, regeneration of CECs from other cell types attracts increasing interests, and specific markers of CECs are crucial to identify actual CECs. However, the currently used markers are far from satisfactory because of their non-specific expression in other cell types. Here, we explored molecular markers to discriminate CECs from other cell types in the human body by integrating the published RNA-seq data of CECs and the FANTOM5 atlas representing diverse range of cell types based on expression patterns. We identified five genes, CLRN1, MRGPRX3, HTR1D, GRIP1 and ZP4 as novel markers of CECs, and the specificities of these genes were successfully confirmed by independent experiments at both the RNA and protein levels. Notably none of them have been documented in the context of CEC function. These markers could be useful for the purification of actual CECs, and also available for the evaluation of the products derived from other cell types. Our results demonstrate an effective approach to identify molecular markers for CECs and open the door for the regeneration of CECs in vitro.
Project description:Purpose:Corneal endothelial cells (CECs) are critical in maintaining clarity of the cornea. This study was initiated to develop peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-originated, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived CECs. Methods:We isolated PBMCs and programmed the mononuclear cells to generate iPSCs, which were differentiated to CECs through the neural crest cells (NCCs). The morphology of differentiating iPSCs was examined at regular intervals by phase contrast microscopy. In parallel, the expression of pluripotent and corneal endothelium (CE)-associated markers was investigated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The molecular architecture of the iPSC-derived CECs and human corneal endothelium (hCE) was examined by mass spectrometry-based proteome sequencing. Results:The PBMC-originated, iPSC-derived CECs were tightly adherent, exhibiting a hexagonal-like shape, one of the cardinal characteristics of CECs. The CE-associated markers expressed at significantly higher levels in iPSC-derived CECs at days 13, 20, and 30 compared with their respective levels in iPSCs. It is of importance that only residual expression levels of pluripotency markers were detected in iPSC-derived CECs. Cryopreservation of iPSC-derived CECs did not affect the tight adherence of CECs and their hexagonal-like shape while expressing high levels of CE-associated markers. Mass spectrometry-based proteome sequencing identified 10,575 proteins in the iPSC-derived CEC proteome. In parallel, we completed proteome profiling of the hCE identifying 6345 proteins. Of these, 5763 proteins were identified in the iPSC-derived CECs, suggesting that 90.82% of the hCE proteome overlaps with the iPSC-derived CEC proteome. Conclusions:We have successfully developed a personalized approach to generate CECs that closely mimic the molecular architecture of the hCE. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the development of PBMC-originated, iPSC-derived CECs.
Project description:Corneal endothelial dysfunction occurs when corneal endothelial cells (CECs) are dramatically lost and eventually results in vision loss. Corneal transplantation is the only solution at present. However, corneal transplantation requires a fresh human cornea and there is a worldwide shortage of donors. Therefore, finding new functional CECs to replace human CECs is urgent. Skin-derived precursors (SKPs) can be easily acquired and have multiple differential potential. We co-cultured human SKPs with B4G12 cells in serum-free medium and obtained abundant CEC-like cells which had similar morphology and characteristic to human CECs. CEC-like cells exerted excellent therapeutic effect when they were transplanted into rabbit and monkey corneal endothelial dysfunction models by injection method. This protocol enables efficient production of CEC-like cells from SKPs. The renewable cell source, novel derivation method and simple treatment strategy may lead to potential applications in cell replacement therapy for corneal endothelial dysfunction.
Project description:The corneal endothelium is composed of a monolayer of corneal endothelial cells (CECs), which is essential for maintaining corneal transparency. To better characterize CECs in different developmental stages, we profiled mRNA transcriptomes in human fetal and adult corneal endothelium with the goal to identify novel molecular markers in these cells. By comparing CECs with 12 other tissue types, we identified 245 and 284 signature genes that are highly expressed in fetal and adult CECs, respectively. Functionally, these genes are enriched in pathways characteristic of CECs, including inorganic anion transmembrane transporter, extracellular matrix structural constituent and cyclin-dependent protein kinase inhibitor activity. Importantly, several of these genes are disease target genes in hereditary corneal dystrophies, consistent with their functional significance in CEC physiology. We also identified stage-specific markers associated with CEC development, such as specific members in the transforming growth factor beta and Wnt signaling pathways only expressed in fetal, but not in adult CECs. Lastly, by the immunohistochemistry of ocular tissues, we demonstrated the unique protein localization for Wnt5a, S100A4, S100A6 and IER3, the four novel markers for fetal and adult CECs. The identification of a new panel of stage-specific markers for CECs would be very useful for characterizing CECs derived from stem cells or ex vivo expansion for cell replacement therapy.
Project description:Dysfunction of the corneal endothelium (CE) resulting from progressive cell loss leads to corneal oedema and significant visual impairment. Current treatments rely upon donor allogeneic tissue to replace the damaged CE. A donor cornea shortage necessitates the development of biomaterials, enabling in vitro expansion of corneal endothelial cells (CECs). This study investigated the use of a synthetic peptide hydrogel using poly-?-lysine (p?K), cross-linked with octanedioic-acid as a potential substrate for CECs expansion and CE grafts. P?K hydrogel properties were optimised to produce a substrate which was thin, transparent, porous and robust. A human corneal endothelial cell line (HCEC-12) attached and grew on p?K hydrogels as confluent monolayers after 7 days, whereas primary porcine CECs (pCECs) detached from the p?K hydrogel. Pre-adsorption of collagen I, collagen IV and fibronectin to the p?K hydrogel increased pCEC adhesion at 24?h and confluent monolayers formed at 7 days. Minimal cell adhesion was observed with pre-adsorbed laminin, chondroitin sulphate or commercial FNC coating mix (fibronectin, collagen and albumin). Functionalisation of the p?K hydrogel with synthetic cell binding peptide H-Gly-Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Gly-Gly-OH (RGD) or ?2?1 integrin recognition sequence H-Asp-Gly-Glu-Ala-OH (DGEA) resulted in enhanced pCEC adhesion with the RGD peptide only. pCECs grown in culture at 5 weeks on RGD p?K hydrogels showed zonula occludins 1 staining for tight junctions and expression of sodium-potassium adenosine triphosphase, suggesting a functional CE. These results demonstrate the p?K hydrogel can be tailored through covalent binding of RGD to provide a surface for CEC attachment and growth. Thus, providing a synthetic substrate with a therapeutic application for the expansion of allogenic CECs and replacement of damaged CE.
Project description:Aim: To generate human embryonic stem cell-derived corneal endothelial cells (hESC-CECs) for transplantation in patients with corneal endothelial dystrophies. Overall design: 6 samples: 3 samples of human embryonic stem cell-derived corneal endothelial cells (hESC-CECs) and 3 samples of cultured adult corneal endothelial cells.