To investigate the efficacy of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJSCs) and their conditioned medium (CM) for corneal nerve regeneration in rats with diabetic keratopathy. Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced male diabetic (DM) rats (250–300 g) were divided into four groups (n=7/group): Control, DM, DM with WJSCs (DM+WJ), and DM with CM treatment (DM+CM). DM+WJ and DM+CM group received WJSCs or CM, respectively, topically with eye drops. Corneal sensibility, corneal epithelial layer integrity, histology, expression of GAP-43 and TUBB3 on mRNA level and their immunohistochemical expression were examined after two weeks of treatment. There were changes in corneal sensibility and corneal integrity between normal control and diabetic groups with/without WJSC or CM injection. Total central corneal thickness was significantly higher in DM+CM (249.81 ± 43.85 μm) than in control (174.72 ± 44.12 μm, P=0.004) and DM groups (190.15 ± 9.63 μm, P=0.03). GAP-43 mRNA expression levels of DM+WJ and DM+CM groups were higher compared with DM and control groups. TUBB3 mRNA level was increased after CM (P=0.047), but not after WJSCs treatment (P=1.00). GAP-43 and TUBB3 immunohistochemical expression of nerve fibers along the epithelial layer significantly increased in DM+WJ and DM+CM compared with DM group. Our findings showed that WJSCs and their CM improved corneal nerve regeneration in rats with diabetic keratopathy.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||International Journal of Molecular and Cellular Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2023|
- conditioned medium
- diabetic rats
- Stem cells
- Wharton's jelly