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Suprabasal expression of a 64-kilodalton keratin (no. 3) in developing human corneal epithelium.

Authors
  • Rodrigues, M
  • Ben-Zvi, A
  • Krachmer, J
  • Schermer, A
  • Sun, T T
Type
Published Article
Journal
Differentiation; research in biological diversity
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1987
Volume
34
Issue
1
Pages
60–67
Identifiers
PMID: 2440750
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We have previously shown that a basic 64-kilodalton (no. 3 in the catalog of Moll et al.) and an acidic 55-kilodalton (no. 12) keratin are characteristic of suprabasal cell layers in cultured rabbit corneal epithelial colonies, and therefore may be regarded as markers for an advanced stage of corneal epithelial differentiation. Moreover, using an AE5 mouse monoclonal antibody, we showed that the 64-kilodalton keratin marker is expressed suprabasally in limbal epithelium but uniformly (basal layer included) in central corneal epithelium, suggesting that corneal basal cells are in a more differentiated state than limbal basal cells. In conjunction with previous data implicating the centripetal migration of corneal epithelial cells, our data support a model of corneal epithelial maturation in which corneal epithelial stem cells are located in the limbus, the transitional zone between the cornea and conjunctiva. In the present study, we analyzed the expression of the 64-kilodalton keratin in developing human corneal epithelium by immunohistochemical staining. At 8 weeks of gestation, the presumptive corneal epithelium is composed of a single layer of cuboidal cells with an overlying periderm; neither of these cell layers is AE5 positive. At 12-13 weeks of gestation, some superficial cells of the three- to four-layered epithelium become AE5 positive, providing the earliest sign of overt corneal epithelial differentiation. At 36 weeks, although the epithelium is morphologically mature (four to six layers), AE5 produces a suprabasal staining pattern, this being in contrast to the adult epithelium which exhibits uniform staining.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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