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Keratin 12 mRNA expression could serve as an early corneal marker for limbal explant cultures.

ABSTRACT: This investigation aimed to identify early corneal marker and conjunctival epithelial differentiation through transcriptional analysis of limbal explant cultures and study early differentiation patterns of known corneal and conjunctival differentiation markers. 2 mm punch biopsies of limbal region were obtained from 6 donors of the Lions Cornea Bank Saar-Lorloux/Trier-Westpfalz. Limbal explants were dissected into corneal and conjunctival biopsy sections. Biopsies were placed with epithelial side down into 12 Wells. As soon as the outgrowing cells had reached confluence, they were harvested. mRNA expression of corneal differentiation markers KRT12, KRT3, DSG1, PAX6, ADH7 and ALDH1A1, conjunctival markers KRT19, KRT13 and stem cell marker ABCG2 were measured via qPCR. KRT12 and PAX6 protein expressions were evaluated using Western Blot. Results suggested that KRT12 mRNA expression was significantly higher in outgrowing cells from the corneal side of the biopsies as in those from the conjunctival side (p?=?0.0043). There was no significant difference in mRNA expression of other analyzed markers comparing with marker expression of outgrown cells from both limbal biopsies (p?>?0.13). KRT12 and PAX6 Western Blot analysis showed no difference in cells harvested from both sides. In conclusion, KRT12 mRNA might be a marker to measure corneal origin of cells from limbal biopsies with unknown composition of corneal and conjunctival progenitor cells. KRT3, DSG1, PAX6, ADH7, ALDH1A1, KRT19, KRT13 and ABCG2 mRNA as well as KRT12 and PAX6 protein expression could not contribute to differentiate corneal from conjunctival cell identity from limbal biopsies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7192984 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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