Corneal damage is one of the most common causes of impaired vision or even blindness. When the injury is more extensive and the limbal region is involved, the natural regeneration of the cornea is not sufficient. Such damage can lead to the limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). The only option for LSCD treatment is transplantation of the limbal tissue or a transfer of limbal stem cells (LSCs) cultured from the healthy eye. The allogenic transplantation of the limbus or cultivated LSCs with a systemic administration of immunosuppressive drugs is needed in the case of bilateral LSCD. Nevertheless, the cell therapy is very promising approach for LSCD treatment. Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded on an appropriate scaffold turned out to be a suitable therapy of the LSCD. In our experimental model of LSCD we use nanofiber scaffold for MSC and LSC cultivation and for transplantation of these cells onto the chemically injured mouse eye. MSCs have immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory properties. We showed that MSCs have the ability to inhibit production of molecules associated with the inflammation and support epithelial regeneration in the damaged cornea. These inhibitory properties were confirmed in both in vitro and in vivo mouse model. Results thus showed beneficial effects of stem cell transplantation for murine corneal healing and for suppression of a local immune reaction which can impede the healing process. Such similarity of in vivo and in vitro results allows us further experiments to clarify mechanisms of MSC regenerative and healing properties after the transplantation onto the injured cornea.Keywords: cornea, nanofiber scaffold, limbal stem cell deficiency, mesenchymal stem cells
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