|The stem cell-related studies in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei is clinically oriented, and can be divided into three components:
1. Proteomic analysis of anti-apoptotic factors expressed by human limbo-corneal epithelial (HLE) cells cultivated on amniotic membrane (AM).
2. Phase I clinical trial of cultivated oral mucosal epithelial transplantation (COMET).
3. Improvement of substrate for HLE cells cultivation for transplantation purpose.
First, using 2 D gel electrophoresis followed by MALDI-TOF, we were able to analyze proteins extracted from HLE cells cultivated on AM (HLE/AM) or on dish. The results were further verified by Western blot and real time PCR. In this way, we found that heat shock proteins were over-expressed by HLE/AM, and may be partially responsible for the anti-apoptotic activity of AM. Second, since April 2006, we started a phase I clinical trial of COMET, which included patients with chemical/thermal burn (n = 5), OCP (n = 2), SJS (n = 1), and rosacea keratoconjunctivitis (RKC; n = 1). COMET is very useful in promoting re-epithelialization and preventing corneal melting in severe acute burn, and specimen obtained during PKP suggested the existence of epithelial progenitor cells in the graft. Third, to develop new substrate to replace AM, we currently are testing temperature responsive culture dish for cultivating HLE cells as well corneal endothelial cells, and mesenchymal stem cells as feeder to replace 3T3 fibroblasts, in the hope that a xenobiotic-free, more transparent corneal epithelial graft is available in near future. |