Aims To investigate the effects of conditioned media from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on the wound healing activities of corneal stromal fibroblasts.
Methods Cell cycle analysis and early stage activation of apoptosis, chemotactic chambers and fibroblast-populated type I collagen gels were used to assess corneal stromal fibroblast proliferation, migration and contraction, respectively. Fibroblasts were obtained from human donor corneas and MSC from fresh rat bone marrow. MSC conditioned media and fibroblast culture medium (FCM), with and without calf serum supplementation, were compared.
Results MSC conditioned media and serum-free FCM had an inhibitory effect on the progression of corneal fibroblasts through the cell cycle. There was a significant increase in the number of cells in the G0–G1 phase for MSC conditioned media and serum-free FCM (p=0.001, p=0.97 respectively). Fibroblast migration and relaxed and stressed gel contraction were significantly inhibited by MSC conditioned media and serum-free FCM compared with FCM with serum (all p=0.001). Glucose and lactate analysis confirmed that these factors were not contributing to this effect.
Conclusion MSC conditioned media was found to inhibit the wound healing activities of corneal stromal fibroblasts in vitro. Putative factors secreted by MSC could be developed for therapeutic use in corneal repair.
- Adult stem cell
- corneal fibroblast
- mesenchymal stem cell
- wound healing
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Funding SLW is currently supported by a Health Practitioner Training Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia (ID 394000) and received a grant from the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of New South Wales, Human Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.