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Concise Review: Tissue-Specific Stem Cells
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2011 AlphaMed Press
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 100–107, February 2012
How to Cite
Ordonez, P. and Di Girolamo, N. (2012), Limbal Epithelial Stem Cells: Role of the Niche Microenvironment. STEM CELLS, 30: 100–107. doi: 10.1002/stem.794
Author contributions: Paula Ordonez provided the first version of the manuscript and compiled Figure 1. Nick Di Girolamo provided the outline for the review and was responsible for drafting the manuscript and for performing the histological studies that contributed to Figures 2 and 3.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
First published online in STEM CELLS EXPRESS November 30, 2011.
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 30 NOV 2011 01:50PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 24 JUN 2011
- Career Development Award. Grant Number: 455358
- National Health and Medial Research Council of Australia
- University of NSW GoldStar Award and Australian Stem Cell Centre Strategic Development Award
- Extracellular matrix;
- Stem cell–microenvironment interactions
The cornea contains a reservoir of self-regenerating epithelial cells that are essential for maintaining its transparency and good vision. The study of stem cells in this functionally important organ has grown over the past four decades, partly due to the ease with which this tissue is visualized, its accessibility with minimally invasive instruments, and the fact that its stem cells are segregated within a transitional zone between two functionally diverse epithelia. While human, animal, and ex vivo models have been instrumental in progressing the corneal stem cell field, there is still much to be discovered about this exquisitely sensitive window for sight. This review will provide an overview of the human cornea, where its stem cells reside and how components of the microenvironment including extracellular matrix proteins and their integrin receptors are thought to govern corneal stem cell homeostasis. STEM CELLS 2012; 30:100–107.