Neue Ansätze zur Rekonstruktion der Augenoberfläche jenseits der Hornhaut
Severe ocular surface diseases (OSDs) with severe dry eye can be devastating and are currently some of the most challenging eye disorders to treat. To investigate the feasibility of using an autologous tissue-engineered cultivated nasal mucosal epithelial cell sheet (CNMES) for ocular surface reconstruction, we developed a novel technique for the culture of nasal mucosal epithelial cells expanded ex vivo from biopsy-derived human nasal mucosal tissues. After the protocol, the CNMESs had 4-5 layers of stratified, well-differentiated cells, and we successfully generated cultured epithelial sheets, including numerous goblet cells. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the presence of keratins 3, 4, and 13; mucins 1, 16, and 5AC; cell junction and basement membrane assembly proteins; and stem/progenitor cell marker p75 in the CNMESs. We then transplanted the CNMESs onto the ocular surfaces of rabbits and confirmed the survival of this tissue, including the goblet cells, up to 2 weeks. The present report describes an attempt to overcome the problems of treating severe OSDs with the most severe dry eye by treating them using tissue-engineered CNMESs to supply functional goblet cells and to stabilize and reconstruct the ocular surface. The present study is a first step toward assessing the use of tissue-engineered goblet-cell transplantation of nonocular surface origin for ocular surface reconstruction.