Here, we evaluate the efficacy of cryopreserved human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived corneal endothelial cells (CECs) to form a functional monolayer of corneal endothelium (CE) in rabbits and monkeys. We injected cryopreserved hESC-derived CECs into the anterior chamber of rabbits and monkeys either immediately after mechanical scraping of the central CE or a few days later when corneal edema developed. All preclinical models developed deturgesced and clear corneas following the injection of cryopreserved hESC-derived CECs and remained comparable to the corneas of the untreated eye. Confocal scanning microscopy confirmed an intact structure of hexagonal/polygonal cells and immunohistochemical analysis illustrated a monolayer expressing barrier and pump function proteins in the regenerated CE. The necropsy examination confirmed no remarkable change in multiple tissues assessed for teratoma formation. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the efficacy of cryopreserved hESC-derived CECs to form a functional CE on the denuded Descemet's membrane.
- corneal endothelium
- cryopreserved corneal endothelial cells
- hESC-derived corneal endothelial cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology