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J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 879-894;

Extracellular Matrix is an Important Component of Limbal Stem Cell Niche

Jules Stein Eye Institute, 100 Stein Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
This authors contributed equally.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 September 2012 / Revised: 4 December 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Scarring: Wound Healing and Biomaterials)
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Extracellular matrix plays an important role in stem cell niche which maintains the undifferentiated stem cell phenotype. Human corneal epithelial stem cells are presumed to reside mainly at the limbal basal epithelium. Efforts have been made to characterize different components of the extracellular matrix that are preferentially expressed at the limbus. Mounting evidence from experimental data suggest that these components are part of the stem cell niche and play a role in the homeostasis of limbal stem cells. The extracellular matrix provides a mechanical and structural support as well as regulates cellular functions such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation. Optimization of the extracellular matrix components might be able to recreate an ex vivo stem cell niche to expand limbal stem cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular matrix; stem cell niche; limbal stem cell; limbus extracellular matrix; stem cell niche; limbal stem cell; limbus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mei, H.; Gonzalez, S.; Deng, S.X. Extracellular Matrix is an Important Component of Limbal Stem Cell Niche. J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3, 879-894.

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