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Publication Detail
The limbus: Structure and function
Limbal function is a key determinant of corneal epithelial integrity. Lineage tracing studies in mice have highlighted that the centripetal movement of epithelial progenitors from the limbus drives both the steady-state maintenance of the corneal epithelium and its regeneration following injury. It is well established that this is facilitated by a population of limbal epithelial stem cells within the limbus. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the behaviour of these stem cells and their ability to respond to the needs of the tissue are closely linked to their immediate microenvironment - the stem cell niche. Increasing understanding of the structural features of this niche and the signalling networks that they coordinate is required to enhance the therapeutic application of these cells in the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency. Importantly, an improved characterisation of the hierarchy of limbal epithelial progenitors using both new and old putative markers will enable a greater appreciation for the effects of many of these limbal niche factors on stem cell fate.
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