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Identification of resident and inflammatory bone marrow derived cells in the sclera by bone marrow and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  1. Toshio Hisatomi1,2,
  2. Koh-hei Sonoda2,
  3. Fumihiko Ishikawa3,4,
  4. Hong Qiao2,
  5. Takahiro Nakazawa1,
  6. Mitsuhiro Fukata4,
  7. Toru Nakamura5,
  8. Kousuke Noda1,
  9. Shinsuke Miyahara,
  10. Mine Harada4,
  11. Shigeru Kinoshita5,
  12. Ali Hafezi-Moghadam1,
  13. Tatsuro Ishibashi2,
  14. Joan W Miller1
  1. 1Angiogenesis Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  3. 3Research Unit for Human Disease Model, RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology, Yokohama, Japan
  4. 4Department of Medicine and Biosystemic Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  5. 5Ophthalmology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Joan W Miller Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Joan_Miller{at}


Aims: To characterise bone marrow derived cells in the sclera under normal and inflammatory conditions, we examined their differentiation after transplantation from two different sources, bone marrow and haematopoietic stem cells (HSC).

Methods: Bone marrow and HSC from green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice were transplanted into irradiated wild-type mice. At 1 month after transplantation, mice were sacrificed and their sclera examined by histology, immunohistochemistry (CD11b, CD11c, CD45), and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. To investigate bone marrow derived cell recruitment under inflammatory conditions, experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) was induced in transplanted mice.

Results: GFP positive cells were distributed in the entire sclera and comprised 22.4 (2.8)% (bone marrow) and 28.4 (10.9)% (HSC) of the total cells in the limbal zone and 18.1 (6.7)% (bone marrow) and 26.3 (3.4)% (HSC) in the peripapillary zone. Immunohistochemistry showed that GFP (+) CD11c (+), GFP (+) CD11b (+) cells migrated in the sclera after bone marrow and HSC transplantation. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed antigen presenting cells among the scleral fibroblasts. In EAU mice, vast infiltration of GFP (+) cells developed into the sclera.

Conclusion: We have provided direct and novel evidence for the migration of bone marrow and HSC cells into the sclera differentiating into macrophages and dendritic cells. Vast infiltration of bone marrow and HSC cells was found to be part of the inflammatory process in EAU.

  • APC, antigen presenting cells
  • EAU, experimental autoimmune uveitis
  • GFP, green fluorescent protein
  • HSC, haematopoietic stem cells
  • PBS, phosphate buffered saline
  • SEM, scanning electron microscopy
  • TEM, transmission electron microscopy

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  • Published Online First 11 October 2006

  • Funding: This work was supported in part by grants-in-aid #09671804 and 09470382 for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of the Japanese Government, the Japan National Society for the Prevention of Blindness and the Japan Eye Bank Association.

  • Competing interests: None.