JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In

Summary

Abstract

Introduction

Protocol

Representative Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Materials

References

Medicine

Ex Vivo Corneal Organ Culture Model for Wound Healing Studies

Published: February 15th, 2019

DOI:

10.3791/58562

1Department of Ophthalmology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 2Department of Dermatology, Columbia University Medical Center
* These authors contributed equally

A protocol for an ex vivo corneal organ culture model useful for wound healing studies is described. This model system can be used to assess the effects of agents to promote regenerative healing or drug toxicity in an organized 3D multicellular environment.

The cornea has been used extensively as a model system to study wound healing. The ability to generate and utilize primary mammalian cells in two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) culture has generated a wealth of information not only about corneal biology but also about wound healing, myofibroblast biology, and scarring in general. The goal of the protocol is an assay system for quantifying myofibroblast development, which characterizes scarring. We demonstrate a corneal organ culture ex vivo model using pig eyes. In this anterior keratectomy wound, corneas still in the globe are wounded with a circular blade called a trephine. A plug of approximately 1/3 of the anterior cornea is removed including the epithelium, the basement membrane, and the anterior part of the stroma. After wounding, corneas are cut from the globe, mounted on a collagen/agar base, and cultured for two weeks in supplemented-serum free medium with stabilized vitamin C to augment cell proliferation and extracellular matrix secretion by resident fibroblasts. Activation of myofibroblasts in the anterior stroma is evident in the healed cornea. This model can be used to assay wound closure, the development of myofibroblasts and fibrotic markers, and for toxicology studies. In addition, the effects of small molecule inhibitors as well as lipid-mediated siRNA transfection for gene knockdown can be tested in this system.

Scarring in the cornea resulting from injury, trauma, or infection can lead to debilitating opacities and permanent vision loss. Thus, there is a critical need to identify pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention. Current treatment options are limited and consist primarily of corneal transplantations, which are not accessible to patients across the world. Both human (Figure 1) and animal corneas can be utilized for 2D and 3D cell culture studies1,2. Human cadaver corneas not suitable for transplant can be obtained from eye banks or centralized tissue banks (National Disease R....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

1. Organ Culture

  1. Preparations
    1. Prepare agar solution as follows. In a small flask, prepare 1% agar and 1 mg/mL bovine collagen in DMEM-F12 up to 20 mL. Bring to boil on a hot plate. Put the solution into a 50 mL conical tube. Place tube in a water bath on a hot plate to keep the solution from solidifying.
    2. Prepare supplemented serum-free media (SSFM) as per the composition provided in the Table of Materials.
      NOTE: The necessary am.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Immunohistochemistry is the primary assay utilized to analyze the success of the ex vivo wound healing experiment. Figure 4 depicts the epithelium and anterior stroma in control tissue (Figure 4A, 4B). Six hours after wounding, the epithelium was absent (Figure 4C, 4D). Six days after wounding as expected, the epithelium had regrown (Figure 4E

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This protocol describes a model for studying wound healing in a natural stratified 3D environment. Use of organ culture as an intermediate between cell culture and in vivo studies significantly reduces costs as well as reducing procedures on live animals. Other 3D models have been of great benefit to the field including self-synthesizing collagen gels made from primary human corneal fibroblasts2 or these same cells embedded in gels made from animal-derived collagens31. The .......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

This work was supported by NIH-NEI R01 EY024942, Research to Prevent Blindness, Upstate Medical University Unrestricted Research Funds, and Lions District 20-Y. Microscopy and image analysis of paraffin sections were performed at the Microscopy CORE and histological slide preparation was performed at the Biorepository and Pathology CORE at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
PBS Gibco 10-010-023
Pen Strep  MP Biomedicals 91670049
Bovine Collagen Solution Advance Biomatrix 5005
Pig eyes with lids attached  Pel-freeze, Arkansas N/A
6.0 mm trephine  Katena K28014
Surgical Blade  Personna 0.009
Small scissor Fisher 895110
Forceps Fisher 08953-F
Kim Wipes  Kimberly-Clark™ 34120 06-666
60 mm cell culture dishes  Falcon 08-772B
Supplemented Serum- Free media (SSFM) Add all of the following components to DMEM/F-12:  ITS, RPMI, Glutathione, L-Glutamine, MEM Non essential amino acids, MEM Sodium Pyruvate, ABAM, Gentamicin, Vitamin C. 
DMEM/F-12 Gibco 11330
ITS Liquid Media Supplement  Sigma I3146 100X
RPMI 1640 Vitamins Solution  Sigma R7256 100X
Glutathione Sigma G6013 Use at 1 µg/mL. Freeze aliquots; do not reuse after thawing.
1% L-glutamine solution  Gibco 25030-081 100X
MEM Non-essential amino acids solution  Gibco 11140 100X
MEM Sodium pyruvate solution  Gibco 11360 1 M Stocks (1000X) and freeze in single use aliquits.  Use from freezer each time media is made.
ABAM  Sigma A7292 100X
Gentamicin  Sigma 30-005-CR 200X
Vitamin C  Wako 070-0483 2-0-aD Glucopyranosyl-Ascorbic Acid. 1 mM stocks (1000x)
10% Iodine  Fisher Chemical SI86-1
Tissue Path Cassettes  Fisher 22-272416
Normal Goat Serum (NGS) Jackson Immuno Research 005-000-121 We use 3% NGS
Mounting Media  Thermo Scientific TA-030-FM
Safe Clear  Fisher 314-629
Ethyl Alcohol Ultra Pure 200CSGP 200 Proof, diluted at 100%, 70%, 50%) 
Sodium citrate  Fisher BP327 10mM, pH 6.4
Hematoxylin EMD Millipore M10742500
Bluing agent  Ricca Chemical Company 220-106
1% Triton X-100 Fisher 9002-93-1 Diluted in PBS
0.1% Tween 20  Fisher BP337 Diluted in PBS
3% Hydrogen Peroxide  Fisher H324
DAB Kit  Vector Laboratories SK-4100
Agar  Fisher  BP1423-500 Agar solution: prepare 1% agar and 1 mg/mL bovine collagen in DMEM-F12 up to 20 mL
Parafilm Bermis 13-374-12
Moist Chamber Use any chamber, cover it with wet Wipe Tissue and then put a layer of Parafilm over it.
Lipofectamine 2000
Qiagen RNAprotect Cell Reagent Qiagen  76104
Ambion PureLink RNA Mini Kit Thermo Scientific 12183018A
Anti-Fibronectin-EDA Antibody Sigma F6140 1:200 Diluted in  3% normal goat serum
Anti-alpha smooth muscle actin Antibody Sigma A2547 or C6198 (cy3 conjugated) 1:200 Diluted in 3% normal goat serum
Permafluor  Thermo Scientific TA-030-FM
DAPI  Invitrogen P36931
Gt anti -MS IgG (H+L) Secondary Antibody, HRP  Invitrogen 62-6520 1:100 diluted in 3% normal goat serum (for a-SMA, DAB staining)
Gt anti -MS IgM (H+L) Secondary Antibody, HRP  Thermo Scientific PA1-85999 1:100 diluted in 3% normal goat serum (for FN-EDA, DAB staining)
Gt anti -MS IgG (H+L) Secondary Antibody, Cy3  Jackson Immuno Research 115-165-146 1:200 Diluted in  3% normal goat serum (for a-SMA, Fluorescence staining)
 Zeiss Axioplan2  Zeiss Microscope
SPOT-2 Diagnostic Instruments, Sterling Heights, Michigan CCD camera

  1. Stepp, M. A., et al. Wounding the cornea to learn how it heals. Experimental Eye Research. 121C, 178-193 (2014).
  2. Karamichos, D., Hutcheon, A. E., Zieske, J. D. Transforming growth factor-beta3 regulates assembly of a non-fibrotic matrix in a 3D corneal model. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. 5 (8), e228-e238 (2011).
  3. Ronkko, S., Vellonen, K. S., Jarvinen, K., Toropainen, E., Urtti, A. Human corneal cell culture models for drug toxicity studies. Drug Delivery and Translational Research. 6 (6), 660-675 (2016).
  4. Bernstein, A. M., Twining, S. S., Warejcka, D. J., Tall, E., Masur, S. K. Urokinase receptor cleavage: a crucial step in fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 18 (7), 2716-2727 (2007).
  5. Zhu, Y. T., et al. Knockdown of both p120 catenin and Kaiso promotes expansion of human corneal endothelial monolayers via RhoA-ROCK-noncanonical BMP-NFkappaB pathway. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55 (3), 1509-1518 (2014).
  6. Shu, D. Y., Lovicu, F. J. Myofibroblast transdifferentiation: The dark force in ocular wound healing and fibrosis. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 60, 44-65 (2017).
  7. Gillespie, S. R., Tedesco, L. J., Wang, L., Bernstein, A. M. The deubiquitylase USP10 regulates integrin beta1 and beta5 and fibrotic wound healing. Journal of Cell Science. 130 (20), 3481-3495 (2017).
  8. Yang, Y., et al. TRPV1 potentiates TGFbeta-induction of corneal myofibroblast development through an oxidative stress-mediated p38-SMAD2 signaling loop. PLoS One. 8 (10), e77300 (2013).
  9. Sta Iglesia, D. D., Stepp, M. A. Disruption of the basement membrane after corneal debridement. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 41 (5), 1045-1053 (2000).
  10. Ljubimov, A. V., Saghizadeh, M. Progress in corneal wound healing. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 49, 17-45 (2015).
  11. Echevarria, T. J., Di Girolamo, N. Tissue-regenerating, vision-restoring corneal epithelial stem cells. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. 7 (2), 256-268 (2011).
  12. Wilson, S. E., Mohan, R. R., Hong, J. W., Lee, J. S., Choi, R. The wound healing response after laser in situ keratomileusis and photorefractive keratectomy: elusive control of biological variability and effect on custom laser vision correction. Archives of Ophthalmology. 119 (6), 889-896 (2001).
  13. Zieske, J. D., Guimaraes, S. R., Hutcheon, A. E. Kinetics of keratocyte proliferation in response to epithelial debridement. Experimental Eye Research. 72 (1), 33-39 (2001).
  14. Lassance, L., Marino, G. K., Medeiros, C. S., Thangavadivel, S., Wilson, S. E. Fibrocyte migration, differentiation and apoptosis during the corneal wound healing response to injury. Experimental Eye Research. 170, 177-187 (2018).
  15. Jester, J. V., Ho-Chang, J. Modulation of cultured corneal keratocyte phenotype by growth factors/cytokines control in vitro contractility and extracellular matrix contraction. Experimental Eye Research. 77 (5), 581-592 (2003).
  16. Gallego-Munoz, P., et al. Effects of TGFbeta1, PDGF-BB, and bFGF, on human corneal fibroblasts proliferation and differentiation during stromal repair. Cytokine. 96, 94-101 (2017).
  17. Hinz, B., Gabbiani, G. Fibrosis: recent advances in myofibroblast biology and new therapeutic perspectives. F1000 Biology Reports. 2, 78 (2010).
  18. Lagares, D., et al. Targeted apoptosis of myofibroblasts with the BH3 mimetic ABT-263 reverses established fibrosis. Science Translational Medicine. 9 (420), (2017).
  19. Hinz, B. Formation and function of the myofibroblast during tissue repair. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 127 (3), 526-537 (2007).
  20. Karamichos, D., Guo, X. Q., Hutcheon, A. E., Zieske, J. D. Human corneal fibrosis: an in vitro model. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 51 (3), 1382-1388 (2010).
  21. Henderson, N. C., et al. Targeting of alphav integrin identifies a core molecular pathway that regulates fibrosis in several organs. Nature Medicine. 19 (12), 1617-1624 (2013).
  22. Muro, A. F., et al. An essential role for fibronectin extra type III domain A in pulmonary fibrosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 177 (6), 638-645 (2008).
  23. Shinde, A. V., et al. The alpha4beta1 integrin and the EDA domain of fibronectin regulate a profibrotic phenotype in dermal fibroblasts. Matrix Biology. 41, 26-35 (2014).
  24. White, E. S., Muro, A. F. Fibronectin splice variants: understanding their multiple roles in health and disease using engineered mouse models. IUBMB Life. 63 (7), 538-546 (2011).
  25. Walraven, M., Hinz, B. Therapeutic approaches to control tissue repair and fibrosis: Extracellular matrix as a game changer. Matrix Biology. , (2018).
  26. Rosenbloom, J., Ren, S., Macarak, E. New frontiers in fibrotic disease therapies: The focus of the Joan and Joel Rosenbloom Center for Fibrotic Diseases at Thomas Jefferson University. Matrix Biology. 51, 14-25 (2016).
  27. Liu, J., et al. Beclin1 controls the levels of p53 by regulating the deubiquitination activity of USP10 and USP13. Cell. 147 (1), 223-234 (2011).
  28. Ritchey, E. R., Code, K., Zelinka, C. P., Scott, M. A., Fischer, A. J. The chicken cornea as a model of wound healing and neuronal re-innervation. Molecular Vision. 17, 2440-2454 (2011).
  29. DelMonte, D. W., Kim, T. Anatomy and physiology of the cornea. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery. 37 (3), 588-598 (2011).
  30. Wilson, S. E., et al. Epithelial injury induces keratocyte apoptosis: hypothesized role for the interleukin-1 system in the modulation of corneal tissue organization and wound healing. Experimental Eye Research. 62 (4), 325-327 (1996).
  31. Miron-Mendoza, M., Graham, E., Kivanany, P., Quiring, J., Petroll, W. M. The Role of Thrombin and Cell Contractility in Regulating Clustering and Collective Migration of Corneal Fibroblasts in Different ECM Environments. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 56 (3), 2079-2090 (2015).
  32. Saghizadeh, M., et al. Adenovirus-driven overexpression of proteinases in organ-cultured normal human corneas leads to diabetic-like changes. Brain Research Bulletin. 81 (2-3), 262-272 (2010).
  33. Saghizadeh, M., Kramerov, A. A., Yu, F. S., Castro, M. G., Ljubimov, A. V. Normalization of wound healing and diabetic markers in organ cultured human diabetic corneas by adenoviral delivery of c-Met gene. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 51 (4), 1970-1980 (2010).
  34. Kramerov, A. A., Saghizadeh, M., Ljubimov, A. V. Adenoviral Gene Therapy for Diabetic Keratopathy: Effects on Wound Healing and Stem Cell Marker Expression in Human Organ-cultured Corneas and Limbal Epithelial Cells. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (110), e54058 (2016).
  35. Cho, S. Y., Kim, M. S., Oh, S. J., Chung, S. K. Comparison of synthetic glues and 10-0 nylon in rabbit lamellar keratoplasty. Cornea. 32 (9), 1265-1268 (2013).
  36. Sharma, A., Mehan, M. M., Sinha, S., Cowden, J. W., Mohan, R. R. Trichostatin a inhibits corneal haze in vitro and in vivo. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 50 (6), 2695-2701 (2009).
  37. Marino, G. K., Santhiago, M. R., Torricelli, A. A., Santhanam, A., Wilson, S. E. Corneal Molecular and Cellular Biology for the Refractive Surgeon: The Critical Role of the Epithelial Basement Membrane. Journal of Refractive Surgery. 32 (2), 118-125 (2016).
  38. Marino, G. K., Santhiago, M. R., Santhanam, A., Torricelli, A. A. M., Wilson, S. E. Regeneration of Defective Epithelial Basement Membrane and Restoration of Corneal Transparency After Photorefractive Keratectomy. Journal of Refractive Surgery. 33 (5), 337-346 (2017).
  39. Marino, G. K., et al. Epithelial basement membrane injury and regeneration modulates corneal fibrosis after pseudomonas corneal ulcers in rabbits. Experimental Eye Research. 161, 101-105 (2017).
  40. Janin-Manificat, H., et al. Development of ex vivo organ culture models to mimic human corneal scarring. Molecular Vision. 18, 2896-2908 (2012).
  41. Mohan, R. R., et al. Apoptosis, necrosis, proliferation, and myofibroblast generation in the stroma following LASIK and PRK. Experimental Eye Research. 76 (1), 71-87 (2003).
  42. Anumanthan, G., et al. KCa3.1 ion channel: A novel therapeutic target for corneal fibrosis. PLoS One. 13 (3), e0192145 (2018).
  43. Chandler, H. L., Colitz, C. M., Lu, P., Saville, W. J., Kusewitt, D. F. The role of the slug transcription factor in cell migration during corneal re-epithelialization in the dog. Experimental Eye Research. 84 (3), 400-411 (2007).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo

Privacy

Terms of Use

Policies

Research

Education

ABOUT JoVE

Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved