Substance P and patterned silk biomaterial stimulate periodontal ligament stem cells to form corneal stroma in a bioengineered three-dimensional model
We aimed to generate a bioengineered multi-lamellar human corneal stroma tissue in vitro by differentiating periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) towards keratocytes on an aligned silk membrane.
Human PDLSCs were isolated and identified. The neuropeptide substance P (SP) was added in keratocyte differentiation medium (KDM) to evaluate its effect on keratocyte differentiation of PDLSCs. PDLSCs were then seeded on patterned silk membrane and cultured with KDM and SP. Cell alignment was evaluated and the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) components of corneal stroma was detected. Finally, multi-lamellar tissue was constructed in vitro by PDLSCs seeded on patterned silk membranes, which were stacked orthogonally and stimulated by KDM supplemented with SP for 18 days. Sections were prepared and subsequently stained with hematoxylin and eosin or antibodies for immunofluorescence observation of human corneal stroma-related proteins.
SP promoted the expression of corneal stroma-related collagens (collagen types I, III, V, and VI) during the differentiation induced by KDM. Patterned silk membrane guided cell alignment of PDLSCs, and important ECM components of the corneal stroma were shown to be deposited by the cells. The constructed multi-lamellar tissue was found to support cells growing between every two layers and expressing the main type of collagens (collagen types I and V) and proteoglycans (lumican and keratocan) of normal human corneal stroma.
Multi-lamellar human corneal stroma-like tissue can be constructed successfully in vitro by PDLSCs seeded on orthogonally aligned, multi-layered silk membranes with SP supplementation, which shows potential for future corneal tissue engineering.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13287-017-0715-y
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