PURPOSE. To compare the relative proliferative capacity between human corneal endothelial cells (HCECs) cultured from the central and peripheral areas of the cornea. METHODS. Human corneas were divided into two groups based on donor age (younger group, ≤30 years of age; older group, ≥50 years of age). Corneas were trephined, and Descemet's membrane with HCECs was stripped from the central (0-6.75 mm) and peripheral (6.75-9-5 mm) areas. HCECs were then isolated from Descemet's membrane and cultivated. An equal number of passage-1 endothelial cells from each area were seeded, and the number of cells was determined at various times after seeding. Doubling times of cells from each area were compared. The antibody against minichromosome maintenance-2 (MCM2) protein was tested for replication competence. RESULTS. Morphologically, HCECs from the central area were similar to cells from the peripheral area. The doubling time (in hours) of HCECs from the central area was 35.20 in the younger group (n = 4) and 54.54 in the older group (n = 4) and from the peripheral area, 29.37 in the younger group and 46.23 in the older group. There was no significant difference (younger: P = 0.515; older: P = 0.222) between the central and peripheral area in each age group. MCM2-positive cells were consistently observed in cultures from the central, as well as peripheral, area. There was no significant difference (younger: P = 0.929; older: P = 0.613) in the percentage of MCM2-positive cells between these two areas in either age group. Even though there was no significant difference, there was a tendency toward increased doubling time and decreased percentage of MCM2 in the central area of the older group. CONCLUSIONS. These results indicate that corneal endothelial cells from both the central and peripheral areas retain potential proliferative capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience