Document Detail

Corneal goblet cells and their niche: implications for corneal stem cell deficiency.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22821715     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Goblet cells are terminally differentiated cells secreting mucins and antibacterial peptides that play an important role in maintaining the health of the cornea. In corneal stem cell deficiency, the progenitor cells giving rise to goblet cells on the cornea are presumed to arise from differentiation of cells that migrate onto the cornea from the neighboring conjunctiva. This occurs in response to the inability of corneal epithelial progenitor cells at the limbus to maintain an intact corneal epithelium. This study characterizes clusters of cells we refer to as compound niches at the limbal:corneal border in the unwounded mouse. Compound niches are identified by high expression of simple epithelial keratin 8 (K8) and 19 (K19). They contain variable numbers of cells in one of several differentiation states: slow-cycling corneal progenitor cells, proliferating cells, nonproliferating cells, and postmitotic differentiated K12+Muc5ac+ goblet cells. Expression of K12 differentiates these goblet cells from those in the conjunctival epithelium and suggests that corneal epithelial progenitor cells give rise to both corneal epithelial and goblet cells. After wounds that remove corneal epithelial cells near the limbus, compound niches migrate from the limbal:corneal border onto the cornea where K8+ cells proliferate and goblet cells increase in number. By contrast, no migration of goblet cells from the bulbar conjunctiva onto the cornea is observed. This study is the first description of compound niches and corneal goblet cells and demonstration of a role for these cells in the pathology typically associated with corneal stem cell deficiency.
Ahdeah Pajoohesh-Ganji; Sonali Pal-Ghosh; Gauri Tadvalkar; Mary Ann Stepp
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio)     Volume:  30     ISSN:  1549-4918     ISO Abbreviation:  Stem Cells     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-21     Completed Date:  2013-01-24     Revised Date:  2013-09-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9304532     Medline TA:  Stem Cells     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2032-43     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 AlphaMed Press.
Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Biology, The George Washington University Medical School, Washington, District of Columbia 20037, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Differentiation
Cornea / cytology*
Corneal Diseases / pathology*
Epithelium, Corneal / pathology
Goblet Cells / cytology*
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Stem Cells / cytology
Grant Support

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