Immunological Properties of Corneal Epithelial-Like Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

PLoS ONE. 2016;11(3):e0150731 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0150731


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Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

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Zhenyu Wang

Qingjun Zhou

Haoyun Duan

Yao Wang

Muchen Dong

Weiyun Shi


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Editorial Board

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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Transplantation of ex vivo expanded corneal limbal stem cells (LSCs) has been the main treatment for limbal stem cell deficiency, although the shortage of donor corneal tissues remains a major concern for its wide application. Due to the development of tissue engineering, embryonic stem cells (ESCs)-derived corneal epithelial-like cells (ESC-CECs) become a new direction for this issue. However, the immunogenicity of ESC-CECs is a critical matter to be solved. In the present study, we explored the immunological properties of ESC-CECs, which were differentiated from ESCs. The results showed that ESC-CECs had a similar character and function with LSCs both in vitro and in vivo. In ESC-CECs, a large number of genes related with immune response were down-regulated. The expressions of MHC-I, MHC-II, and co-stimulatory molecules were low, but the expression of HLA-G was high. The ESC-CECs were less responsible for T cell proliferation and NK cell lysis in vitro, and there was less immune cell infiltration after transplantation in vivo compared with LSCs. Moreover, the immunological properties were not affected by interferon-γ. All these results indicated a low immunogenicity of ESC-CECs, and they can be promising in clinical use.