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Keywords:

  • Corneal epithelium;
  • Stem cell niche;
  • Stem cells;
  • Cultured cells;
  • corneal diseases

Abstract

Limbal epithelial stem cells (LESCs) are a population of stem cells responsible for maintenance and repair of the corneal surface. Injury and disease can result in a deficiency of these stem cells, the vision affecting condition called limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) in which the cornea becomes opaque, vascularized, and inflamed. Cultured LESC therapy was first described in 1997;29:19231932–19231932.and LESCs cultured from either patients or donors have been used to successfully treat LSCD. In this review, some of the challenges and controversies associated with cultured LESC therapy will be discussed including alternative stem cell sources. STEM CELLS 2011;29:1923-1932